The California Department of Technology (CDT) submitted a Budget Change Proposal (BCP) last week seeking nine new positions and an additional $2.5 million fund to implement the State Digital Equity Plan.
In accordance with Assembly Bill 2750 State Digital Equity Plan (AB 2750), CDT is seeking to “develop a State Digital Equity Plan (SDEP) in accordance with federal Digital Equity Act grant guidelines and oversee and monitor the implementation of the SDEP through additional National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) funding from Capacity and Competitive Grant Programs over the subsequent 5-year implementation period.”
The $2.5 million fund includes $1 million towards consulting in the 2023-24 Fiscal Year as well as an ongoing fund, per the Budget Change Proposal.
The nine positions include three (3) staff service managers I, five (5) program analysts, and one (1) staff service manager III.
The State Digital Equity Plan serves as a roadmap to close the digital divide by providing affordable and reliable broadband access to Californians in every nook and cranny of the state.
CDT states in their BCP that “the digital divide is a lack of available broadband or issues related to a lack of affordability, devices, or digital skills. Many Californians still don’t have the access they need for full-service healthcare, education, and employment.”
The Plan has three primary goals:
- Providing access to high-speed broadband at home, schools, libraries, and businesses.
- Providing access to affordable broadband devices.
- Providing access to digital training.
In terms of digital equity, The Plan has put an emphasis on reaching aging individuals, veterans, individuals with a language barrier, and other underserved populations.