One of the major findings of a presentation by the East Bay Broadband Consortium (EBBC) is that the broadband infrastructure In Alameda, Contra Costa, and Solano Counties is barely adequate. Representing 41 partners and local funders including the East Bay Community, and Lesher Foundations, and three California Emrging Technology Fund, the EBBC finds that while the region meets statewide averages for residential broadband availability and core network infrastructure, many critical gaps exist.
The Consortium describes spotty urban coverage and adoption rates, communities that are lagging behind, and major room for improvement in mobile coverage, even in urban regions. What an A Grade for a community includes is: a) Two or more providers; b) Strong internet speed; and c) Large capacity. Cities with top grades include Alameda, Concord, Pleasant Hill, and Walnut Creek. See the nearby map of broadband coverage in Contra Costa County (click to enlarge or download).
“Future demand requires that we improve our current infrastructure,” says Linda Best, Executive Director of EBBC. “The Consortium is tasked with helping to convene and develop plans for the next generation infrastructure – wired and wireless – and the capacity to access and adopt emerging technologies and applications so that companies and institutions will to be able to better serve, innovate, and lead.” According to Best, benefits can include:
- Economic competitiveness in the innovation economy.
- Digital inclusion to help make sure all parts of the community prosper.
- Quality, cost‐effective, personalized education.
- Improved and accessible health care services, including through the benefits of Telehealth/Telehealth that are being increasingly delivered at home.
- Effective public safety and emergency services, especially for preparedness and social and economic recovery from natural and other disasters such as earthquakes, fires and flooding.
- Efficient social, employment, and e‐government services.
- Accessible, safe and affordable options such as intelligent transportation systems that improve mobility and reduce negative environmental and health outcomes.
- Implementation of sustainable community strategies, including a region‐wide telecommuting platform.
East Bay Connects is just one community initiative of the East Bay Broadband Consortium, with the purpose of improving Broadband (high speed internet) deployment, access, and adoption in the East Bay. EBBC covers Alameda, Contra Costa, and Solano counties, with 41 formal organizational and institutional members and endorsement by 25 leadership organizations. EBBC has received a three year grant from the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC).
Through a collaborative approach led by the community, the Consortium hopes to educate and engage partners that will advocate for responsive, high-quality and cost‐effective broadband. One basic goal is build minimum broadband capacity (5 megabytes per second) to optimal broadband capacity (100 megabytes per second). Just as importantly, the Consortium hopes to strengthen the lines of communication between broadband providers and the communities they serve to ensure there is a mutual benefit for infrastructure investments.
To find out how you can play a role in advancing broadband in the East Bay, visit: http://www.ebbroadband.org/
Here are just some of the many resources that can be downloaded from our website:
- Maps of the East Bay’s Current Broadband Capacity
- Maps with Grades of the Broadband Infrastructure in East Bay Communities
- Draft Broadband Resolutions from Other Cities and Communities
- Fact Sheets About Successful Regional, Statewide and National Broadband Programs
- Downloadable Broadband Handouts, Presentations & Videos to Share with Your Community
- Information from East Bay Connects on Funding Resources and on How to Acquire and Use Affordable Broadband
- To inquire about having your organization host a meeting, contact Linda Best at [email protected]
regional broadband infrastructure, and the East Bay Connects Digital Inclusion Initiative, which provides information on how to bridge the Digital Divide and acquire and use affordable broadband.
EBBC is organized by the Contra Costa Economic Partnership, the East Bay Economic Development Alliance, the East Bay Community Foundation and the Solano Economic Development Corporation in Alameda, Contra Costa and Solano Counties. The Consortium receives primary funding from the California Public Utilities Commission and support from the East Bay Community Foundation, the Lesher Foundation and the California Emerging Technology Fund.