ITUP’s Broadband & Connectivity Work

June 30, 2022

ITUP’s Broadband & Connectivity Work

Over the past 18 months, ITUP has been working to bring the health sector’s voice to local, state, and national Broadband and Digital Equity conversations. There is an incredible nexus between connectivity and telehealth, virtual care, patient engagement, and data exchange, and multiple opportunities for the health and human services sectors to engage (and sometimes get funding!) in California Department of Technology, California Public Utilities Commission, and Legislative public forums. Yet, because the broadband community doesn’t typically work with health partners, the health sector, and thereby consumers, are not included in these critical infrastructure and connectivity conversations.

ITUP’s Broadband Convening goals are to:

  1. Inform: Bridge the knowledge gap between health care and broadband.
  2. Identify: Look for and spread the word on health sector engagement opportunities at the local, state, and national level.
  3. Activate: Engage in local, state, and national stakeholder processes and meetings, and apply for and receive funding.

Coalitions ITUP Actively Participates in: 

Additional ITUP Resources: 

We look forward to continuing to break down connectivity barriers to health with YOU! Contact us at [email protected] if you would like to be included in our broadband information updates.

ITUP Broadband Workgroups

ITUP Statewide Broadband Stakeholder Workgroup

In June 2022, ITUP began convening state-level health and health policy leaders to provide a space to understand the multiple opportunities for the health and human services sectors to meaningfully engage in the historic investments for broadband and connectivity. Over the next year, stakeholder engagement and funding opportunities from the California Public Utilities Commission, California Department of Technology, and Legislative public forums will be moving forward and need the health and human services sector’s engagement to ensure the digital equity and inclusion needs for the future of health are considered and met through the statewide efforts to close the digital divide. More workgroups coming in 2023, in the meantime, check out our 2022 workgroup presentations!



ITUP LA County Broadband Stakeholder Workgroup

There are incredible opportunities in LA county to close the digital divide for the very same communities that are more likely to be uninsured and face systemic barriers to accessing quality, equitable health care. Health and human services sector leaders need to engage and participate in these efforts to reduce digital barriers to telehealth and virtual care for LA communities. In addition to the local broadband opportunities, there will be ample opportunities for stakeholder engagement and funding opportunities from the California Public Utilities Commission, California Department of Technology, and Legislative public forums over the next year where the health and human services sectors can engage to ensure the digital equity and inclusion needs for the future of health are considered and met through the statewide efforts to close the digital divide. More workgroups coming in 2023, in the meantime, check out our 2022 workgroup presentations!

Co-hosted Partner Events

Data Sharing Workshop to Support Experiencing Homelessness in Los Angeles County (BluePath Health): View Recording

Connection to Care in Changing Times (CA Telehealth Policy Coalition)

UPCOMING! Data Exchange and Aging Workshop (BluePath Health): View Recording


Upcoming Engagement Opportunities

Middle-Mile Advisory Committee 

The Middle-Mile Advisory Committee monitors the development and construction of the middle mile. Internet service providers and other eligible entities can connect and deliver service through the new middle-mile network. The Broadband Middle-Mile Initiative will provide equitable access to high-speed broadband service and prioritize inclusion of unserved and underserved populations, anchor institutions (hospitals, universities, government entities and community non-profits) tribal entities and agricultural regions.  

Meets the Third Friday of Every Month 

California Broadband Council 

The California Broadband Council identifies state resources, encourages public and private partnerships, and recommends strategic policy to establish effective structures for providing world-class high-speed Internet access throughout California.  

The 12-member CBC is run by the California Department of Technology’s Office of Broadband and Digital Literacy which provides support by managing the statewide ecosystem of individuals and organizations dedicated to closing the digital divide.  

The last meeting was on October 12th and have yet to announce when the next upcoming meeting will be on their website. 

October 12, 2022, 9:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. Recording of Meeting; 

Existing CA State Broadband Action Plan 

Fall Broadband for All Summit & State Digital Equity and Broadband, Equity, Access and Deployment (BEAD) Planning Kick Off 

The California Department of Technology hosted a public webinar to discuss the State’s Equity and Broadband programs, implementations of the Broadband for All Initiatives as well as a briefing of the BEAD planning process.  

Highlights of this webinar were the CDT’s interest in hearing from various entities spanning from education, digital inclusion, civic engagement and essential services, economic and workforce development to the health care sector. 

Broadband for All Summit: Digital Equity and BEAD Kickoff Presentation 

Broadband for All Summit: Digital Equity and BEAD Kickoff Recording 

California Department of Technology: State Digital Equity Plan 

The California Department of Technology is currently beginning its development of the State Digital Equity Plan (SDEP). This will be a 52-week process and will include five key components designed to meet the goals of the Digital Equity Act (within ILJA) while supporting California’s vision, objectives, and strategies for digital equity. These five components are: 

  • Statewide Planning Groups (SPGs) 
    • SPG will advise CDT on work plan execution, provide input on planning activities, integration of engagement recommendations, and finalization of the draft SDEP 
  • Outcome Area Working Groups 
    • Outcome area working groups will focus on Education, Healthcare, Digital Inclusion, Economic and Workforce Development, Civic Engagement and Essential Services, and Tribal groups. 
    • They will provide strategies and recommendations to the California Department of Technology and SPG 
  • Statewide Survey(s) 
    • Gather statewide input to identify and understand barriers to digital equity among covered populations 
  • Local and regional outreach 
    • Engagement events to generate community plan input. 
  • Statewide public engagement  
    • Foster ongoing communication and integration of individuals, groups and organizations involved in, impacted by, and interested in broadband.  

ITUP was asked to be the moderator for the health care sector breakout session, and these were the questions asked during the breakout session: 

  1. What barriers to digital equity in healthcare exist for the populations you serve? 
  2. What stakeholders and partners should be at the table to help understand how digital equity can inform outcomes in healthcare? Who is missing from this conversation today? 
  3. What existing resources, programs, networks, or communication channels can be leveraged to support digital equity in healthcare?  

*If you’d like to contribute and provide feedback on these questions to the California Department of Technology, please feel free to email your responses to these questions to ITUP’s Senior Policy Project Coordinator, Shirley Lam ([email protected]) to share with California’s Department of Technology.  

In addition, ITUP has been invited by the CDT to play a key role in developing California’s State Digital Equity Plan. ITUP will be working alongside CDT on this historic project whilst integrating ITUP’s expertise and priorities into the SDEP. 

State Digital Equity Plan Development Process 

National Telecommunications and Information Administration Digital Equity Programs 

California’s Public Utilities Commission State-Level Broadband Engagement 

Broadband Deployment, Assistance, Affordability, and Adoption Programs  

Broadband Infrastructure Grants  

Funding Opportunities 

Broadband Affordability 

Broadband Equity, Adoption, and Education Programs 

California’s Broadband for All Initiative 

Affordable Connectivity Program

ITUP, in partnership with the California Emerging Technology Fund (CETF), has been conducting outreach and technical assistance to health and health-related stakeholders on the federal Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP). The ACP program is a subsidy program available to consumers right now to make internet more affordable. However, only 45% of eligible households are enrolled. Since Medi-Cal, CalFRESH, and WIC members are automatically eligible for the ACP program, the health care workforce- including health insurance navigators and community health workers, are uniquely situated to make consumers aware of the subsidies needed to combat affordability barriers to broadband and connectivity.

The Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP), a federal subsidy program, can help eligible households reduce their monthly internet bill up to $30. You can help get the people you serve, including Medi-Cal enrollees who are automatically eligible, signed up by providing ACP enrollment flyers!

Get Connected California! is a Call to Action for statewide mobilization to promote of the ACP program to over 4 million California households eligible for the program, but not enrolled. If you have a “physical site” consider signing up here to learn more about hosting an ACP enrollment event on Aug 27th! Find Get Connected California informational materials to share here!

As part of this work, ITUP has presented on the ACP program in various settings. Linked is the Addressing the Digital Divide: Affordable Connectivity Program for Low-Income Families presentation.

If you have questions or want to learn more, please contact ITUP Senior Policy Project Coordinator, Shirley Lam at [email protected].