The California Department of Technology today announced that the State of California has retained CENIC California Middle-Mile Broadband Initiative, LLC as the California Middle-Mile Broadband Network Third-Party Administrator (TPA).
“California is bridging the digital divide by facilitating equitable, affordable access to high-speed internet service throughout the state,” said Amy Tong, Director, California Department of Technology. “CENIC California MMBI has the experience and reach to deliver an open-access middle-mile broadband network throughout the state.”
Governor Newsom and the state legislature partnered on a historic $6 billion multi-year investment that will give more Californians access to broadband coverage. The legislation provides $3.25 billion over the next three years to build an open access, middle-mile network made of high-capacity optical fiber that carries large amounts of data at high speeds over long distances between local networks and the global Internet.
As the TPA, CENIC California MMBI is the partner responsible for developing the fiber network, creating rural exchange points, and collaborating with the California Public Utilities Commission and Caltrans.
“We are honored to be a part of the most ambitious state digital equity effort in the history of the public Internet,” said Louis Fox, President of CENIC California MMBI. “The COVID-19 pandemic underscored how access to broadband is now a social determinant of health, education, work, and economic security. Our goal, in partnership with the state, is to ensure that every community – rural, urban, tribal – has access to broadband technologies and to do this work with alacrity.”
A nine-member Middle-Mile Advisory Committee will monitor the development and construction of this broadband infrastructure so service providers, anchor institutions, and tribal entities can create connections that facilitate high-speed broadband service across the state. The Middle-Mile Advisory Committee adopted the following guiding principles as a framework for middle-mile implementation:
- Provide affordable, open-access, middle-mile broadband infrastructure to enable last-mile network connectivity throughout the state.
- Build the network expeditiously, leveraging existing infrastructure, networks, and construction projects, where feasible.
- Prioritize connectivity to unserved and underserved communities, including community institutions.
Work to build and establish the middle-mile network is expected to extend through December 2026.
About CENIC California MMBI
CENIC California Middle Mile Broadband Initiative, LLC, is a California limited liability company whose sole member is the not-for-profit Corporation for Education Network Initiatives in California, dba CENIC. CENIC California Middle Mile Broadband Initiative, LLC will serve as the third-party administrator in cooperation with a wide range of stakeholders – municipal, state, tribal, private sector, and other community organizations. Together, we will develop a California statewide open-access middle-mile broadband network called “GoldenStateNet.” This network will connect last-mile broadband providers to first mile providers, thereby connecting homes, businesses, and community anchor institutions to the global Internet.