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The state expects to receive funds later this year, which it will distribute through grant programs in 2025.

(Getty Images)

The National Telecommunications and Information Administration on Friday approved California’s State Digital Equity Plan, unlocking $70.2 million in federal funding to make affordable internet service and digital literacy training more accessible to state residents who currently face barriers to entry.

The federal investment in closing the digital divide stems from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act of 2021, which provides federal funding to new infrastructure projects across the country.

“The approval of our State Digital Equity Plan marks a significant success in our commitment to ensuring that every person in our state has access to essential digital devices, affordable internet access, and the digital literacy skills needed to thrive in the 21st century,” Gov. Gavin Newsom said in the announcement.

In August 2020, Gov. Newsom signed executive order N-73-20 to improve digital connectivity across the state. Two years later, he signed a bill directing the California Department of Technology to develop a state digital equity plan, which sought input from residents, local governments and state agencies.

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According to the press release, the state expects to receive funds later this year, which it will distribute through grant programs in 2025.

Sophia Fox-Sowell

Written by Sophia Fox-Sowell

Sophia Fox-Sowell reports on artificial intelligence, cybersecurity and government regulation for StateScoop. She was previously a multimedia producer for CNET, where her coverage focused on private sector innovation in food production, climate change and space through podcasts and video content. She earned her bachelor’s in anthropology at Wagner College and master’s in media innovation from Northeastern University.

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