Through these agreements, the three companies will also collectively contribute approximately $24 million over the next decade for the City’s new Digital Inclusion Fund. The Digital Inclusion Fund was created by the City Council to support programs and initiatives that will help close the digital divide in San Jose, where more than 95,000 residents still lack access to broadband internet service at home.
“Upgrading San Jose’s broadband infrastructure is key to building a smarter city, advancing our long term economic competitiveness, and connecting residents who lack access to affordable, high-quality internet service,” said Mayor Sam Liccardo. “Through these agreements covering all three major carriers, we will both lay the groundwork for the future deployment of 5G service in our community and generate millions of dollars to fund our efforts to close the digital divide in San Jose.”
“We hope that these public-private partnerships can serve as a national model for equitably deploying next generation broadband technologies in a way that puts the public’s interest first,” continued Liccardo.
Facilitating the development of a robust broadband infrastructure has been a core component of the city’s Smart City Vision, which Mayor Liccardo unveiled in 2016. Through this work, the City has sought to advance three key objectives: 1) improving the quality of digital services available to San Jose residents and businesses, 2) providing a means to connect residents who remain on the wrong side of the digital divide, and 2) supporting the deployment of new technologies (like Internet of Thing (IoT) technologies) that the City hopes to leverage to improve safety, services, and quality of life.