How far is California from high-speed broadband Internet for all?
January 6, 2021
This study examines how far is California from the goal of making 100Mbps broadband available to all as laid out by Governor Gavin Newsom in August 2020. The study also discusses the broadband proposals (AB-14 and SB-4) currently before the CA legislature. Among the key study findings are:
- The vast majority of Californians (94.2%) live in census blocks where residential broadband services with advertised speeds of at least 100/10Mbps are offered, though gaps persist in rural and low-income areas.
- Less than a third of Californians (31.5%) live in census blocks served by residential fiber, a modest increase from 29% in 2018.
- The most urgent and widespread problem is not availability but rather lack of competition in high-speed broadband. Statewide, only about 55% of the population lives in census blocks where competing 100/10Mbps services are offered.
- Policy efforts to close the digital divide must prioritize competition and adoption, particularly in low-income areas where adoption gaps are largest