[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]The Central Valley Higher Education Consortium has joined the movement for high-speed broadband ubiquitous deployment and universal adoption for the Valley’s eight-county region led by the San Joaquin Valley Regional Broadband Consortium which is now seeking additional partners through a Request for Qualifications for Prospective Partners (RFQPP) and a call for Expression of Interest (EOI).
SJVRBC ‘s mission is to deliver high-speed, affordable broadband (including both wireline and wireless networks), devices and digital literacy to Valley rural and urban residents, giving them greater access to commerce, healthcare, education and other municipal, state and federal services.
It is under the leadership of the California Partnership for the San Joaquin Valley, and the California Emerging Technology Fund (CETF), on a new joint effort — collectively called #SanJoaquinValleyNetwork — to seek State and federal funding for broadband infrastructure projects throughout the San Joaquin Valley.
Representing CVHEC on the SJVRBC are Dr. Benjamin Duran, executive director, and Angel Ramirez, operations manager.
Duran said that the broadband consortium work echoes the message conveyed in CVHEC’s video released a year ago, “Pursuing the Last Mile: Broadband in the Central Valley.”
“This is a very important effort that aligns with CVHEC’s commitment to expanding broadband access as discussed at our recent Higher Education Policy and Legislative Summit,” said Duran. “The #SanJoaquinValleyNetwork is seeking public funding to deploy infrastructure and provide high-quality, affordable broadband service and digital literacy to educational institutions, students, residents, businesses, public agencies and tribes in the region.”
Approximately $70 billion in public funds will be available to accelerate broadband deployment and adoption through California’s Broadband Budget Bill (SB 156) and the Federal Infrastructure Bill (Broadband) so SJVRBC anticipates several competitive funding opportunities over the next three years to help build out broadband infrastructure and support adoption in the eight-county region.
The San Joaquin Valley Network Request For Qualifications for Prospective Partnerships (RFQPP), and information about submitting the Expression Of Interest by June 6 may be downloaded at: https://sanjoaquinvalleynetwork.org.
“Submitting an EOI is a strategic way to partner with like institutions, community-based organizations, tribal communities and broadband providers to this crucial technology to the most unserved and underserved in our communities,” said Dr. Frank Gornick, CETF SJVRBC Partnership project manager (and West Hills Community College president-emeritus who also served on the CVHEC Board of Directors during his WHCC presidency).
Some funding is likely to be available in Fiscal Year 2022 and the Request For Qualifications for Prospective Partnerships is the primary vehicle for the SJVRBC to engage with prospective partners — public, private, or non-profit entities willing to partner or collaborate — in pursuit of public financing in the future to improve broadband access to underserved and unserved households in the San Joaquin Valley consistent with the Map of Needs and Opportunities released recently by the California Department of Technology as part of its recommended design for the $3.25 billion statewide broadband network Gov. Gavin Newsom approved last summer.
That proposal, drafted by GoldenStateNet, the organization tasked with administering the network, outlines 8,700 new miles of “middle-mile” fiber optic cable to connect regions with poor internet access. It provides guidance on how to optimize routes of new fiber builds and recommends “joint build partnerships” to reduce costs.
For SJVRB’s request, prospective partners may include, but are not limited to: Internet Service Providers (ISPs, including wireless ISPs or WISPs); K-12 school districts; higher education institutions (California Community Colleges, California State Universities, University of California); tribal governments; counties; cities; library districts; water districts; health care systems and facilities; land-use development corporations; community-based organizations (CBOs); and other entities that will adhere to applicable statutes which regulate California contractors.
In addition, SJVRBC will identify entities interested in co-sponsoring competitive grant applications to obtain public funding to deploy infrastructure and provide ubiquitous broadband service to the targeted populations in the San Joaquin Valley as identified on the Map of Needs and Opportunities.
All interested parties should submit the completed EOI in PDF by 5 p.m. PST June 6, 2022 via email to email@example.com.
Recommended design for the $3.25 billion statewide broadband network.
CVHEC video: “Pursuing the Last Mile: Broadband in the Central Valley.”[/vc_column_text][vc_video link=”https://youtu.be/uWIt8fWG1RE” align=”center” title=”Pursuing the Last Mile: Broadband in the Central Valley”][/vc_column][/vc_row]