The California High-Speed Rail Authority (Authority) and the Corporation for Education Networking Initiatives in California (CENIC) announced that they have entered into a Memorandum of Understanding that will foster initiatives to expand the availability and accessibility of high-capacity broadband to communities and institutions throughout California.
As a part of the high-speed rail system corridor, the Authority and CENIC will create an ultra-fast broadband network, connecting into CENIC’s statewide research and education network, as well as to other public and private sector broadband networks.
“This new network will provide needed connectivity for communities located near the high-speed rail system starting in the Central Valley,” said Authority Chief Executive Officer Jeff Morales. “This partnership and new network will advance economic development and public benefit, while generating ancillary revenue for the high-speed rail program,” said Morales.
According to a recent Field Research Corporation Poll, conducted for the California Emerging Technology Fund, the lowest income, least educated, and most rural Californians are living without this reliable internet access. This investment in broadband connectivity will allow these communities access the educational, employment, healthcare, and civic engagement opportunities that lead to greater economic opportunities and to a better quality of life.
The Authority and CENIC agree that to achieve these objectives, they will work together to develop a strategic plan that will include network design, deployment, economics, operation and management. Furthermore, the Authority and CENIC will engage parties from private, public, and governmental sectors in the planning process to effectively serve this diverse region.
“This strategic undertaking of the High-Speed Rail Program and CENIC is critical to California’s continued advancement in all realms of innovation,” said Louis Fox, President and CEO of CENIC. “Our future relies on the engagement of all Californians in the digital economy and this project will provide them with the necessary infrastructure that positions California for a prosperous future.”