Many of our communities lack access to affordable and reliable internet access.    According to the California Dream Index, broadband access is less accessible for Black, Latino and tribal communities in California. The pandemic has shown broadband is no longer a luxury, but an essential.  That’s why we’re supporting Senator Lena A. Gonzalez’s Senate Bill 4, which would ensure broadband access for all. This bill will help close the digital divide and finally meet the connectivity needs of everyone.

Here are some broadband advantages the Federal Communications Commission put together:

  • Broadband is an important tool for expanding educational and economic opportunities for consumers in remote locations.
  • Broadband allows you to take advantage of services not available or not convenient to use with a dial-up Internet connection, such as Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), an alternative to traditional voice telephone service.
  • Broadband makes “telemedicine” possible: patients in rural areas can confer online with medical specialists in more urban areas and share information and test results very quickly.
  • Broadband helps you efficiently access and use many reference and cultural resources via the Internet.
  • You also need broadband to best take advantage of many distance learning opportunities, like online college or university courses and continuing or senior education programs.
  • Connecting to streaming video content is made possible by broadband.

“It is imperative we provide internet access to ALL! This pandemic has highlighted the digital divide among our most vulnerable population, our children in lower social economic areas that were directly impacted in their education due to the lack of internet access. No child should be denied the opportunity to have a proper education. We shouldn’t have to resort to a bill to make sure all children have access to an equitable education,  but if that’s what it takes, we urge our state legislators to pass Senate Bill 4.” – SEIU Local 99 Executive Board Member and LAUSD Special Education Assistant Jannette Verbera

It is important that we continue to put pressure on state legislators to pass bills like SB4 that address the needs of our communities. Contact your legislator and urge them to pass Senate Bill 4 – Broadband Internet Access for All.