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File #: 15-0248    Version: 1
Type: Agenda Item Status: Approved
File created: 2/19/2015 In control: Board of Supervisors
On agenda: 2/24/2015 Final action: 2/24/2015
Title: Chief Administrative Office, Economic Development Division, recommending the Board approve and authorize the Chair to sign a letter to the Rural County Representatives of California in support of extending their county-wide broadband expansion efforts under the Gold Country Broadband Consortium work.
Attachments: 1. A - RCRC Letter of Support 2-24-15, 2. B - Broadband Consortia 3rd Annual Learning Summit Summary Report 2-24-15, 3. Executed Letter 2-24-15 item 18.pdf
Title
Chief Administrative Office, Economic Development Division, recommending the Board approve and authorize the Chair to sign a letter to the Rural County Representatives of California in support of extending their county-wide broadband expansion efforts under the Gold Country Broadband Consortium work.
Body
Background
The Rural County Representatives of California (RCRC) is a thirty-four member county strong service organization that champions policies on behalf of California’s rural counties. One of the many efforts RCRC is involved with is working with the Rural and Urban Regional Broadband Consortia to expand broadband to rural (and urban) areas and to provide digital literacy outreach and programs.

Some of the items on the agenda for the consortia include:

Expand broadband to rural areas of California - The statewide goal is to achieve 98% deployment with an 80% home adoption by 2017, with no single demographic group or region below 70%. Rural counties are currently at a 75% statewide adoption rate but certain demographics fall well below that rate such as those who are 65 or older (47%), household income of less than $20,000 (%53), people with disabilities (59%). Roughly 1/4 of Californians do not have Internet at home, however, the adoption rate is up from 55% in 2008 and the consortia and partnering agencies have a lot to do with increasing that average. They will continue to increase that number with continued funding through 2016/2017.

Continue to provide digital literacy - something that is still lacking in low-income communities. Many low-income families access the Internet solely by way of a mobile device. It is very difficult if not impossible to apply for jobs and do homework on a smart phone.

Farmers need greater broadband access - this is a big focus for 2015/2016 and beyond. New agricultural technologies allow for more efficient water use, better farming practices, and increased yields. 70% of farms have Internet access but 33% of th...

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