LOS ANGELES, Calif. — Today, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors (Board) approved a motion authored by Chair, Holly J. Mitchell, and co-authored by Supervisor Hilda L. Solis, to establish the Intergovernmental Broadband Coordinating Committee (IBCC) to expand affordable and reliable internet access across unincorporated LA County and maximize Federal and State funding to achieve digital equity. Additionally, the Board unanimously approved phase two of the County’s spending plan for the American Rescue Plan that includes recommendations from the Chief Executive Office (CEO) to allocate $56 million to build out broadband infrastructure in high-need areas.
“Lack of internet access is an equity issue that we can meaningfully address with dedicated leadership focused on this and intentional investments from the once-in-a-generation funding that is available through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and American Rescue Plan Act,” said Board Chair Holly J. Mitchell, representing the Second District. “Today’s motion will ensure the County is maximizing the effectiveness of federal and state funding, which requires regional coordination across LA County’s unincorporated municipalities. We cannot leave any community in the digital dark. I’m proud that LA County is concentrating efforts through the new Intergovernmental Broadband Coordinating Committee to ensure we close the digital divide.”
“As the County moves closer to fulfilling its commitment to deliver internet services to our most vulnerable communities, I am pleased to support the creation of an Intergovernmental Broadband Coordinating Committee that will ensure we take a regional approach to our broadband goals, and that all stakeholders are at the table – both stakeholders from incorporated cities and unincorporated areas. Quality broadband at home means access to classes and other education tools, employment opportunities, telehealth services, financial resources, support networks and so much more. To that end, I won’t stop until we realize true digital equity,” said Supervisor Hilda L. Solis, representing the First District.
Across LA County, there are over 428,000 households without home internet. Many of these households are largely concentrated in low-income communities of color. With more than $1 billion in federal funding available through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and American Rescue Plan Act for middle-mile projects – the physical mid-section infrastructure needs in communities that is required to enable internet connectivity for homes and businesses – today’s motion will ensure maximizing the effectiveness of this funding, which requires regional coordination across LA County’s unincorporated municipalities.
The motion creates a Director of Digital Equity position within the Internal Services Department. The Director of Digital Equity will collaborate with ISD to establish the Intergovernmental Broadband Coordinating Committee which will serve as a Countywide coordinating entity to expand affordable and reliable internet access across jurisdictions. The Director of Digital Equity will also support with equitably distributing the $56 million allocation to build broadband infrastructure, as well as engage and support high need areas.
To read the full motion, click here.