The San Joaquin Valley Regional Broadband Consortium has received final approval from the California Public Utilities Commission (PUC) for a $450,000 investment in broadband infrastructure for communities with limited or no cell phone service or Internet access.
The consortium is an initiative of the California Partnership for the San Joaquin Valley, which is administered by the Office of Community and Economic Development at Fresno State, with assistance from the Great Valley Center.
Over the next three years, the consortium will be dedicated to accelerating the deployment, accessibility and adoption of broadband within Fresno, Kern, Kings, Madera, Merced, San Joaquin, Stanislaus and Tulare counties, said Mike Dozier, executive director for the university’s Office of Community and Economic Development.
“We are honored to be among the first consortia selected to assist the state in closing the digital divide in California” said Dozier.
The PUC awarded grants totaling $1.67 million to seven organizations serving regions throughout California.
Valley consortium members represent telecommunications providers and industry associations; government; economic development corporations, and business development centers; local educational agencies and institutions of higher education; health delivery organizations; community-based and nonprofit organizations; and accessibility advocates.
Dozier said the consortium membership offers diverse and extensive experience, enhancing the ability to meet its goals to expedite broadband access in all areas of the Valley, especially targeted underserved communities and populations. Another goal of broadband development is to help provide telemedicine and telehealth capability in areas where access to health care is limited.
For more information, contact Dozier at 559.294.6021 or firstname.lastname@example.org.