State begins construction of ‘Middle Mile’ broadband network
Seventy-four miles of the 10,000 network will pass through San Benito County.
Information provided by Caltrans
Caltrans announced the construction began in rural San Diego County on the first leg of the 10,000-mile broadband network aimed at bringing high-speed Internet service to all Californians so they can access emergency information, telehealth, education and employment.
The press release states that in July 2021, Governor Gavin Newsom signed into law Senate Bill 156 to expand the state’s broadband fiber infrastructure and increase internet connectivity for families and families. companies. He adds that the act includes provisions for the $3.25 billion originally budgeted to build, operate and maintain an open-access public Middle Mile network – high-capacity fiber lines that carry greater amounts of data to higher speeds over longer distances between LANs. networks. The 2022 budget bill provided an additional general fund of $550 million to support the Middle Mile Broadband Initiative.
According to a map, 74 miles of the system, known as the Middle Mile Broadband Network, will run through San Benito County.
The announcement says construction began Oct. 13 on State Route 67 near Poway in San Diego County, where Newsom administration officials gathered as 500 feet of fiber optic cable was laid. blown through a conduit in the first segment of a massive $3.8 billion statewide project.
The planned network, which will be the largest in the nation, the statement said, will span the state to help provide reliable high-speed Internet access to the millions of Californians who currently do not have it. The state said about one in five Californians lack access to reliable and affordable high-speed internet.
When completed, funding for “last mile” efforts will support “middle mile” line internet connections to homes and businesses, as well as efforts to ensure that individuals can afford broadband service where it already exists.
“Beginning construction of the Middle Mile Network is an important step toward broadband equity and provides all Californians with the ability to access critical information,” the Secretary of State told the Agency. transport, Toks Omishakin. “Broadband Internet is more than a connection, it’s a lifeline that families need to work, learn and access essential services.
According to the release, the construction of the first segment of the Middle Mile network follows more than a year of planning.
“Rapid planning by the Middle Mile team as well as our local partners is coming to fruition,” said Liana Bailey-Crimmins, director of the California Department of Technology. “It’s wonderful to see the hard work pay off, to make a difference in the lives of Californians who live in unserved areas like this.”
Caltrans Director Tony Tavares said each of the department’s 12 districts is working to build segments of the Middle Mile system on an ambitious schedule in hopes of capturing the maximum federal funding available.
“This project provides us with a wonderful opportunity to ‘dig in smart’ and highlights the benefits of coordination between state agencies and with our local partners,” Tavares said. “Caltrans is proud to partner with the Department of Technology to create a Middle Mile Broadband Network, bringing equitable broadband service to all Californians.”
According to the release, once the Middle Mile Network is completed, local operators will have access to the network to provide communities with direct service to homes and businesses as well as discounted or free broadband internet service for those who qualify.
He added that California received federal funding in 2021 with the passage of the US Federal Bailout Act (ARPA) and the Federal Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), both aimed at helping the country recover from the COVID-19 pandemic with broad investments in infrastructure, including affordable broadband access for individuals, families and communities so they can work, learn and connect remotely.
Californians interested in whether they qualify for the discounted high-speed Internet services available now can learn more at the state’s Broadband for All website.
The statement said the design and construction of the Middle Mile Network is being overseen by the Middle Mile Advisory Committee (MMAC) with expertise from GoldenStateNet, the state consultant. For more information and interactive maps outlining the 10,000-mile system, please visit the Middle Mile Broadband Initiative website.