The 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.
Maps show where the department recommends building the broadband network, based on factors including the number of underserved communities that could be reached and the ability to piggyback on other state infrastructure.
“This set of maps that GoldenStateNet delivered will enable the state to dive deeper and conduct the engineering and economic analyses that will inform the construction and leasing plans for the middle-mile network,” Russ Nichols, the technology department’s acting director, said in a press release. “This represents a real milestone – a tremendous accomplishment – to give us what we need to get into the weeds on construction planning and a timetable to complete the build by 2026.”
The California Department of Technology is now evaluating bids for materials so it can start building, according to the release.
The network follows legislation passed last year with a goal of reaching 98% connectivity across the state.