The following is a press release issued by the Office of California State Assemblyman Jim Wood:
Today, Assemblymember Jim Wood (D-Santa Rosa) announced AB 2752, legislation that would require the CPUC to map last-mile connections stemming from the state’s open-access middle-mile network. AB 2752 builds on previous efforts, including AB 41 (Wood), to improve the maps that define broadband access statewide.
“Only by mapping how households utilize the state’s middle-mile network can we quantify our return on an investment that promises equal access to broadband and an end to the digital divide,” said Wood.
In 2021, the Legislature passed SB 156 which approved the construction of a statewide open-access middle-mile network built within the state right-of-way. A map of that proposed network can be found here on the California Department of Technology’s website.
Wood stated, “Unfortunately, in the past, some providers have decided to cherry-pick more profitable communities and households during broadband deployment—leaving many Californians offline. For my district, that means rural areas lose out. I want to ensure that an asset that the public has invested in is not manipulated in the same way.”
Middle-mile is a crucial piece of broadband deployment, but it is the last-mile infrastructure that actually delivers broadband to the home. AB 2752 would track how $6 billion dollar in infrastructure spending translates to improved broadband access at a household level.
“California is currently investing billions in a statewide open-access middle fiber network. We need transparency and the data that comes from that to ensure that our historic investment delivers those last-mile connections with equity and efficiency,” said Wood.