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(SANTA BARBARA, Calif.) – The internet is a critical part of everyday life. Yet one in five Californians,
including many across Santa Barbara County do not have access to affordable, reliable broadband
service, devices, and the skills to use them. Going without a reliable broadband connection can affect
the ability to land a better job, provide a better education to the next generation or fully access medical
care. The gap between those with broadband connections and those without is known as the “digital
divide.” The California State Digital Equity Plan aims to close the digital divide.

Over the next few months, the California Department of Technology will be leveraging a federal
planning grant to develop a state Digital Equity Plan. When completed, the plan has the ability to deliver
hundreds of millions of dollars in federal funding to California and ensure our residents have affordable,
high-speed internet access, as well as the skills and tools needed to participate in the digital economy.
To produce a Digital Equity Plan that works for all Californians, we need our community members to
take the California Digital Equity Survey by June 30, 2023. The survey results will help determine how
much federal funding will be allocated to California.

“The more input and feedback we receive from our residents, the better tools and resources we will
have for bringing reliable internet, computers, and the skills to use them to our local communities that
need it most. I encourage you to fill out the survey and if you are a service provider that works with
people with limited internet access, please help them fill out this survey,” said Chair of the Board of
Supervisors, Das Williams.

Our state needs to hear especially from those who struggle most with accessing the internet. This
includes English language learners, veterans, immigrants, adults over 60 years old, people who live in
rural areas, individuals with disabilities, minorities, and those living at or below the federal poverty level.
The survey is available in 13 languages and is mobile friendly.

Drafting the plan will be a major milestone toward enabling better digital access for those in rural
sections of Santa Barbara County, so it is crucial that as many community members as possible
participate in this planning process while there is still time.
Click here to take the California Digital Equity Online Survey:


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