On June 5, 2024, RCRC, and its affiliate entity Golden State Connect Authority (GSCA), participated in panel discussions at the California Broadband Summit, a segment of the 2024 CalMatters Ideas Festival held in Sacramento.

RCRC President and CEO Patrick Blacklock sat on the first panel titled "The California Broadband Moment" discussing the efforts of RCRC and GSCA in seeking to advance broadband deployment in rural California in accordance with the resources provided by Senate Bill 156. He also called for preservation of the Loan Loss Reserve funding in the State budget to ensure the original vision and structure of Senate Bill 156 are safeguarded.

RCRC Chief Economic Development Officer Barbara Hayes then reiterated that message on the second panel titled "California's Pathbreaking Middle Mile Program", describing GSCA's aims to deploy an open access municipal fiber network in rural California utilizing the State Middle Mile. She detailed the necessity of partnership and collaboration among agencies and the state in connecting the State Middle Mile to last mile infrastructure and how one cannot happen without the other.

GSCA’s partner Utopia Fiber, an industry leader in Open Access, municipal broadband and the operator of the largest Open-Access, municipal fiber network in the United States, was also featured during one of the event panel discussions. UTOPIA Fiber has a partnership agreement with GSCA to assist in the development and administration of GSCA's fiber network. During the panel discussion, UTOPIA Fiber’s Executive Director Roger Timmerman with UTOPIA Fiber provided insights on the costs and challenges ahead in building fiber networks in California.

Learn more about the Broadband Summit here.