Closing the Digital Divide in the Unincorporated Area

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THE FUNDING APPLICATION WINDOW IS OPEN 7/10/24 - 8/21/24

The County is requesting proposals to fund up to $9 million for projects that expand access to affordable, high-speed internet service and create more equitable and connected communities in the unincorporated areas. Application guidelines can be found in the Notice of Funding Availability. A YouTube video overview of the funding opportunity can be watched here.

Scoring evaluation criteria was developed through input from communities in the unincorporated areas and Internet Service Providers. A summary of the in-person and virtual meetings is available under the documents tab, Stakeholder Engagement 2024.

In an increasingly interconnected world, high-speed internet isn’t just a luxury – it’s a lifeline. It connects our residents to telehealth, education, banking, public safety, resilience, economic opportunity and social well-being. In San Diego County’s unincorporated areas, there are pockets where high-speed internet is unavailable, unreliable or unaffordable.

Other Funding Opportunities

The County will also be looking for ways to partner with local public and private entities for future State and Federal funding opportunities. If you would like to get more information on how to join the County in closing the digital divide, you may Ask a Question below or send an email to broadband.grants@sdcounty.ca.gov.


PAST PROGRAMS


Broadband Infographic available in other languages to the right under Documents

The Comprehensive Broadband Plan

To improve internet access, reliability, and affordability in the unincorporated areas – a basic need in today’s connected world – the County conducted an extensive study to identify areas lacking reliable, affordable service and the infrastructure needed to change that. The Comprehensive Broadband Plan supports the County’s efforts in attempting to close the digital divide in the unincorporated area by identifying problem areas and the partnerships, infrastructure and education needed to increase access to essential services like telehealth, education, banking, public safety, resilience, and economic opportunity. The Comprehensive Broadband Plan was used as the foundation for developing the scope for projects eligible to be funded through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). Let us know what you think about the scope of projects below, the comment period is open now!


The Affordable Connectivity Program

The Plan was used in 2023-2024 to advance the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) within priority communities, like those in rural and border areas. The Program was implemented by the County’s Department of Homeless Solutions & Equitable Communities. The Affordable Connectivity Program stopped accepting new applications and enrollments on February 7, 2024. The last fully funded month of the program was April 2024. Since the program ended, the County has added an optional program opportunity for Internet Service Providers to continue to subsidize internet costs for households who qualified for ACP or those that would have qualified had they had access to internet. Let us know what you think below, the comment period is open now!


Get Connected Digital Skills Classes

The Plan was used for locations where the Get Connected Digital Skills Classes were hosted through a partnership between the County, SANDAG, 211 and lead by the San Diego Future’s Foundations.

For more information: Digital Skills Classes


Tech Connect Program

The Plan compliments the County’s ongoing broadband improvement efforts including the County Library’s Tech Connect Program that provides 7,000 Google Chromebooks and MiFi hotspots with unlimited data plans to connect residents and students to the internet for free. The take-home kits ensured that our communities have the technology needed for full participation in our society and economy. The library has extended the program this year to purchase 2,000 MiFi hotspots for check-out.

For More Information: Tech Connect Resources

By implementing the Plan’s strategy, the County will continue to build regional partnerships and engage public and private entities to work together to expand broadband access.




THE FUNDING APPLICATION WINDOW IS OPEN 7/10/24 - 8/21/24

The County is requesting proposals to fund up to $9 million for projects that expand access to affordable, high-speed internet service and create more equitable and connected communities in the unincorporated areas. Application guidelines can be found in the Notice of Funding Availability. A YouTube video overview of the funding opportunity can be watched here.

Scoring evaluation criteria was developed through input from communities in the unincorporated areas and Internet Service Providers. A summary of the in-person and virtual meetings is available under the documents tab, Stakeholder Engagement 2024.

In an increasingly interconnected world, high-speed internet isn’t just a luxury – it’s a lifeline. It connects our residents to telehealth, education, banking, public safety, resilience, economic opportunity and social well-being. In San Diego County’s unincorporated areas, there are pockets where high-speed internet is unavailable, unreliable or unaffordable.

Other Funding Opportunities

The County will also be looking for ways to partner with local public and private entities for future State and Federal funding opportunities. If you would like to get more information on how to join the County in closing the digital divide, you may Ask a Question below or send an email to broadband.grants@sdcounty.ca.gov.


PAST PROGRAMS


Broadband Infographic available in other languages to the right under Documents

The Comprehensive Broadband Plan

To improve internet access, reliability, and affordability in the unincorporated areas – a basic need in today’s connected world – the County conducted an extensive study to identify areas lacking reliable, affordable service and the infrastructure needed to change that. The Comprehensive Broadband Plan supports the County’s efforts in attempting to close the digital divide in the unincorporated area by identifying problem areas and the partnerships, infrastructure and education needed to increase access to essential services like telehealth, education, banking, public safety, resilience, and economic opportunity. The Comprehensive Broadband Plan was used as the foundation for developing the scope for projects eligible to be funded through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). Let us know what you think about the scope of projects below, the comment period is open now!


The Affordable Connectivity Program

The Plan was used in 2023-2024 to advance the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) within priority communities, like those in rural and border areas. The Program was implemented by the County’s Department of Homeless Solutions & Equitable Communities. The Affordable Connectivity Program stopped accepting new applications and enrollments on February 7, 2024. The last fully funded month of the program was April 2024. Since the program ended, the County has added an optional program opportunity for Internet Service Providers to continue to subsidize internet costs for households who qualified for ACP or those that would have qualified had they had access to internet. Let us know what you think below, the comment period is open now!


Get Connected Digital Skills Classes

The Plan was used for locations where the Get Connected Digital Skills Classes were hosted through a partnership between the County, SANDAG, 211 and lead by the San Diego Future’s Foundations.

For more information: Digital Skills Classes


Tech Connect Program

The Plan compliments the County’s ongoing broadband improvement efforts including the County Library’s Tech Connect Program that provides 7,000 Google Chromebooks and MiFi hotspots with unlimited data plans to connect residents and students to the internet for free. The take-home kits ensured that our communities have the technology needed for full participation in our society and economy. The library has extended the program this year to purchase 2,000 MiFi hotspots for check-out.

For More Information: Tech Connect Resources

By implementing the Plan’s strategy, the County will continue to build regional partnerships and engage public and private entities to work together to expand broadband access.




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Page last updated: 18 Jul 2024, 12:38 PM