UNITE-LA Today: Its a Big LA DEAL

On Jan. 12, the California Public Utilities Commission awarded UNITE-LA and LAEDC, co-conveners of the Los Angeles Digital Equity Action League (LA DEAL), the next contract as the California Public Utilities Commission’s Regional Broadband Consortium for the L.A. Region from Jan. 1, 2023 through Dec. 31, 2025. These next three years are critical as the U.S. government begins distributing $42.45 billion in Broadband Equity, Access and Deployment grant programs through the historic Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (aka Bipartisan Infrastructure Law).

Additionally, the state is challenging the FCC map utilizing data that some of our partners have provided the state on households that are in unserviceable areas but shown as served on the map, including LAUSD and the County and City of L.A. CPUC also released a map in January showing where the state would prioritize $2 billion in historic broadband infrastructure funds. Because of antiquated methods of relying on internet service providers to share where they are serving folks, most of L.A. County is not considered a priority, but Rancho Palos Verdes and Malibu are. In fact, none of L.A. City’s low-income urban areas are a priority. UNITE-LA sent a letter to the CPUC, along with encouraging and providing a template to our 300+ stakeholders to send in letters.

UNITE-LA attended the California Emerging Technology Fund Policy Briefing and Reception in Sacramento with various legislators present to share LA DEAL’s policy priorities for 2023. Aside from accurate data on maps, LA DEAL is advocating for an affordable plan requirement for ISPs who contract with the state, and AB 41, which gives the CPUC the power to hold cable companies that provide internet service accountable for equitable service before approving their franchise agreements.

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