News for Immediate Release


California Department of Technology
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Building the Backbone of Digital Equity

California is building the nation’s largest Middle-Mile Broadband Network

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (May 6, 2024) – Why it matters: One in five Californians lacks access to reliable broadband. The state is taking swift and multipronged actions to close the digital divide.

Sacramento– Ahead of Infrastructure week, the California Department of Technology and its Middle-Mile Broadband Initiative partners at the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) and the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) continue making progress building the nation’s largest Middle-Mile Broadband Network. To date, more than 65 percent of the Middle-Mile Broadband Network has reached the critical milestones of pre-construction, construction, purchase, and/or lease—nearly 15 months ahead of schedule.

With approximately $2.9 billion currently at work and creating jobs, the Middle-Mile Broadband Initiative has signed four leases for 3,485 miles, purchased 435 miles, and with private sector partners and Caltrans the program is on track to construct 2,664 miles by the end of this year.

As a key partner, Caltrans is leading the construction of the network in some of the most challenging terrain, from very rural to very urban communities. During California Infrastructure Week, we are spotlighting Caltrans’ progress on State Route 20 in Mendocino County through this 2-minute video.

In addition to building the Middle-Mile Network, our partners at the CPUC play a critical role in providing funding to build affordable last-mile connections to communities. Without the last-mile connections, we won’t make progress in achieving digital equity.

This transformational infrastructure investment will bring about monumental change and move the state forward on its digital equity commitment, enabling future last-mile connections to reach roughly 960,000 residents currently un- and underserved by Broadband in every corner of the state. It is a critical component of Governor Newsom’s efforts to build more and faster infrastructure across California communities. To find what California is building in your community, visit

Access to the internet alone won’t guarantee digital equity. The state recently unlocked access to over $70 million in federal funding to implement digital skills programs that will enable our most vulnerable residents to participate in our digital society.