PUC Awards Grant Funding to LA DEAL as the Regional Broadband Consortium for Los Angeles County
Funding will support LAEDC and UNITE-LA in facilitating a collaborative regional initiative to eliminate the digital divide in LA County
Aug. 19, 2021 (Los Angeles) – The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) has today awarded a California Advanced Services Fund (CASF) Grant to the LA Digital Equity Action League (LA DEAL) via lead applicant Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation (LAEDC) and partner, UNITE-LA, for the purpose of advancing equitable broadband internet service deployment to unserved and underserved communities in the LA County region. The work performed by LA DEAL will support the CPUC’s Rural and Urban Regional Broadband Consortia Program.
LAEDC, UNITE-LA, and a diverse and unprecedented coalition of over 100 partners from education, government, business, healthcare and nonprofit sectors are working together as community-driven stakeholders committed to eliminating the digital divide in LA County. The coalition has been assembled to accelerate broadband infrastructure deployment for digitally disadvantaged communities of LA County and work with CPUC, internet service providers (ISP) and community stakeholders to identify project opportunities in underserved urban communities and unserved rural areas of LA County worthy of consideration for subsidies by the California Advanced Services Fund and help develop and submit applications to the CPUC for funding to install high-speed internet infrastructure.
Under the CPUC grant, the LA DEAL Consortium will: 1) convene stakeholders from ISP’s, government, business, education, workforce, economic development, health and housing; 2) serve as a conduit among L.A. communities, the CPUC, and large and small ISP to identify project opportunities and barriers to completion; 3) pursue additional funding to develop broadband infrastructure; and 4) ensure prioritization of broadband deployment in communities with the greatest needs.
In addition to the work specified in the CPUC application, the LA DEAL consortium has active task forces focused on ensuring high speed internet service rate plans have truly affordable options and are accessible to all, more people have access to suitable devices to use the internet, high-quality and culturally appropriate digital literacy training is available to all, and regional policy advocacy centers community voice and digital equity to ensure that LA County reaches 100% adoption of high-speed internet.
LA DEAL was formed because as society has accelerated its reliance on the internet to conduct business, access healthcare, services, education, and important news, those without or with only limited access to internet have become more and more disenfranchised from career, economic and social opportunities. Reliable and affordable broadband internet access can serve as an engine of economic mobility, educational opportunity, civic engagement, and better healthcare. Conversely, individuals and communities that lack the access to broadband and the means to use it are increasingly being left behind.
About LA DEAL
The Los Angeles Digital Equity Action League (LA DEAL) is the inclusive and collaborative Regional Broadband Consortium for LA County employing a community-driven process to assess and close the broadband internet gaps that exist in neighborhoods across the LA region. With a wide-reaching coalition of stakeholders, from grassroots communities to regional institutions capable of addressing broadband at a transformational level, LA DEAL is working to eliminate the digital divide for everyone in LA County. LA DEAL is facilitated by nonprofit partners LAEDC and UNITE-LA. To join forces and support this effort, visit LADEAL.org.
Mariah Adedeji, LAEDC
Claudine Battisti, UNITE-LA