California receives nearly $9M for BEAD funding and digital equity planning Thumbnail Image

California receives nearly $9M for BEAD funding and digital equity planning

The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) the state agency that regulates telecom, power, transportation and other vital sectors, announced Wednesday that it has received $8.96 million in funding grants from the federal Bipartisan Infrastructure Law passed by the U.S. Congress in 2021, adding to the 49 other states and territories that have received money from the Infrastructure bill’s total pot of $65 billion to expand broadband.

This is the latest broadband funding news the regulatory agency shared this week on top of its December 19 announcement. State legislators have already budgeted $6.5 billion to roll out affordable broadband across the state.

The funds will power twin initiatives that broadband expansion experts say are crucial to develop in tandem: 

  1. $4.9 million is designated to plan California’s implementation of the infrastructure law's Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment (BEAD) grant program for a range of broadband access expansion activities, including:
    1. “Identifying unserved and underserved locations
    2. Planning and increasing capacity of the state broadband programs 
    3. Developing a sub-grantee program for last-mile broadband deployment 
    4. Supporting the development of a 5-year action plan”

In October,  CPUC President Alice Busching Reynolds said during a webinar that the agency wants "a big tent approach" as it develops the required five-year plan for spending BEAD funding. More than 2 million Californians don’t have access to the internet, Chief Information Officer Liana Bailey-Crimmins said during the webinar, and it’s those people who should be involved in the planning process. 

The other funding initiative is:

  1. A $4 million grant administered by the California Department of Technology (CDT) to further develop the State Digital Equity Plan, which will engage “local and regional stakeholders” 

Finally, as part of this effort, CPUC says CDT will conduct a statewide survey that aims to reach 11,000 respondents across California’s 58 counties via phone, online, and in-person interviews, focusing on areas that already have broadband coverage, from which CDT wants to better understand “barriers to digital equity.” has the tools and data you need to create detailed broadband grant proposals that will make a real impact in your community. 

Identify unserved and underserved locations, as well as map assets across your service area to catalogue high-speed Internet service adoption, affordability, equity, access and deployment. 

Check out our California broadband audit. According to our data, California has 14,383,328 broadband serviceable locations, 535,597 of which are unserved and 5,899,139 are underserved, as defined by the infrastructure legislation's criteria.

Contact us

More Articles

Think you can complete your BEAD application in 90 days? Think again. Thumbnail Image

Think you can complete your BEAD application in 90 days? Think again.

January 18, 2024

If you're waiting for your state's application, you'll be too late.

Montana begins broadband challenge process Thumbnail Image

Montana begins broadband challenge process

January 09, 2024

The big sky state joins a small list of eligible entities that have kicked off their broadband challenge process.