December 9, 2022
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Construction recently began on the first leg of a new 10,000-mile broadband network to bring high-speed internet service to all Californians.

[Above photo by Caltrans]

Initial construction of this network began this month along State Route 67 in San Diego County; the first segment of a $3.8 billion statewide project known as the “middle mile” broadband network.

Photo by Caltrans

Once complete, funding for “last mile” efforts will support internet connections from “middle mile” lines to homes and businesses, as well as efforts to ensure individuals can afford broadband service where it already exists.

“We’re starting construction today to get affordable high-speed internet in every California home because livelihoods depend on access to a reliable and fast internet connection,” noted Governor Gavin Newsom (D) in a statement. “This is about ensuring that all Californians, no matter the zip code they call home, can be part of the Golden State’s thriving and diverse economy.”

Tony Tavares, director of the California Department of Transportation, said all 12 Caltrans districts are working to build segments of this “middle mile” network.

Tony Tavares. Photo by Caltrans.

Once the middle mile network is complete, local carriers will have access to the network to provide communities with direct service to homes and businesses as well as reduced-cost or free broadband internet service for those who are eligible, he noted.

“This project provides a wonderful opportunity for us to ‘dig smart’ and highlights the benefits of coordination among state agencies and with our local partners,” Tavares said.

“Beginning construction on the middle-mile network is a significant step toward broadband equity and providing all Californians the opportunity to access critical information,” added Toks Omishakin, California’s State Transportation Secretary.

“High-speed internet is much more than a connection – it’s a lifeline that families need to work, learn, and access critical services,” he said.

editor@aashto.org

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