Legislature Passes Bonta Bill to Increase Access to Advanced Telecommunications Networks

Friday, August 29, 2014

AB 2292 stimulates local economy through innovative technology 

(SACRAMENTO, CA) – Assemblymember Rob Bonta’s AB 2292, which provides cities and counties with a new tool to expand broadband projects in order to bring high-speed communications, jobs, and new businesses to local communities, passed the Legislature with strong bipartisan support and is now being considered by the Governor.  The bill would allow local communities to use infrastructure financing districts, a funding mechanism that requires voter approval, to create communitywide broadband projects. 

“In the wake of the elimination of redevelopment agencies, many local governments have limited options to revitalize their economies.  Broadband has been federally and internationally recognized as a key driver of economic growth and national competitiveness, in addition to contributing to social and cultural development and enrichment,” said Assemblymember Bonta.

AB 2292 is sponsored by the City of San Leandro, which is dedicated to completing their high-speed fiber loop, thereby providing businesses with Internet speeds of up to 10 gigabytes per second, a speed roughly 2,000 times faster than the average internet access speed in the United States.

“Investment and development follow infrastructure.  In the 18th century, seaports were critical; in the 19th century, it was railroads; and in the 20th century it was highways and airports. What does the 21st century have to offer? Ultra high-speed broadband access,” said Mayor Stephen Cassidy of San Leandro.

Bonta concluded, “Broadband technology provides cities and counties with an opportunity to stimulate the economic climate by providing businesses with the competitive advantage of being connected to high-speed fiber optic networks.  I am proud that our Legislature has passed this important legislation.  We are clearly committed to ensuring that California stays at the forefront of the innovation economy and current technologies throughout the world.”

The bill is now on Governor Brown’s desk for his consideration on or before September 30, 2014.

Read the full text of the bill here: AB 2292.

Assemblymember Bonta represents the 18th Assembly District, which includes Oakland, Alameda, and San Leandro.  He is Chair of the Assembly Public Employees, Retirement, and Social Security Committee and the Select Committee on Gun Violence in the East Bay. Bonta is also a member of the Assembly Health, Transportation, Banking & Finance, and Elections & Redistricting Committees.