On Wednesday, Governor Gavin Newsom announced the State release of initial project locations for state-owned middle-mile broadband deployment. The California Department of Technology's Middle-Mile Advisory Committee will approve a final map of all State middle-mile project areas by the end of 2021.  

The State identified the initial 18 project locations with the following objectives in mind: 

  • Meet the process requirements of SB 156, prioritizing unserved and under-served areas; 
  • Accelerate deployment of middle mile infrastructure given the time limits associated with American Rescue Plan Act funding sources; and, 
  • Leverage efficiencies with pending Caltrans construction projects.  

In July, the Governor signed into law SB 156, which authorized the development of a state-owned, open access middle-mile network. The law directs the California Department of Technology to plan and develop a statewide middle-mile infrastructure based on locations identified by the California Public Utilities Commission, in collaboration with relevant stakeholders. Once established, the network will serve as the backbone for connecting last-mile infrastructure to communities.   

RCRC continues to work with the State and agency partners on the implementation and roll out of Senate Bill 156. Additionally, RCRC has initiated the formation of Golden State Connect Authority (GSCA) to leverage collective efforts on behalf of rural counties for last-mile network construction.   

Additional information regarding the initial middle-mile locations is available here and the Governor’s press release is available here