Building California's Middle-Mile Network: A Phased Approach
The ambitious California Middle-Mile Broadband Initiative (MMBI) aims to deliver open access, high-speed, and affordable broadband to all communities in the state. However, due to its epic scale and complexity, the $3.8 billion initiative has faced challenges. Between 2021 and 2022, the telecom industry experienced significant increases in supply chain costs and labor due to inflation and other factors. As a result, only half of the idealized 10,000-mile network could be constructed with the current budget.
In response, the MMBI team developed a plan that will optimize the network’s reach to serve the maximum number of unserved and underserved Californians. Announced at the July 21, 2023, Middle-Mile Advisory Committee meeting
, the plan leverages leasing, joint builds and purchasing and divides the effort into two phases to deliver equitable, high-quality, 288-count fiber across the state.
Phase 1 encompasses 8,300 miles of the statewide network, serving communities in all 58 counties where 570,000 households currently lack high-speed internet access.
Phase 2 will focus on the remaining 1,700 miles to fulfill the Administration’s 10,000-mile network goal to close California’s digital divide. The MMBI team is exploring several funding options that may be used to complete the second phase.
The Middle Mile Advisory Council (MMAC) meeting recording, transcript, and presentation can be found here
California's Broadband Middle-Mile Network Gets a Boost
The California Department of Technology (CDT) finalized an agreement with Siskiyou Telephone Company (Siskiyou Tel) to construct 163 miles of fiber optic cable as part of California’s statewide Middle-Mile Broadband Initiative. CDT secured a $52 million contract with Siskiyou Tel to build the 163 miles of high-speed, 288-fiber-count optical cable and install the necessary infrastructure. Read more on CDT TechBlog