The Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) Regional Council has announced the adoption of a comprehensive Digital Action Plan, aimed at providing broadband access to all residents in their jurisdiction. This initiative focuses on four key strategies: securing funding for local jurisdictions and stakeholders, deploying broadband infrastructure and digital devices, advancing digital equity initiatives, and addressing the role that broadband technology will play in shaping land-use development patterns.
"The SCAG Regional Council recognizes that connectivity is an essential utility service in today's world," said Kome Ajise, Executive Director of SCAG. "Our goal with this Digital Action Plan is to ensure that everyone within our region has equal access to high-speed internet services."
To achieve its objectives effectively, the plan seeks to secure necessary funding from various sources such as federal grants or public-private partnerships. The funds would be used by local jurisdictions and stakeholders involved in building out crucial infrastructure while supplying residents with appropriate digital devices.
"We are committed not only towards improving internet accessibility but also promoting digital literacy among all communities under our purview," explained Rex Richardson, President of SCAG's Regional Council. "This involves actively seeking support from both public and private sectors."
Another critical aspect covered by the plan concerns transportation planning which includes goods movement facilitation through smart city technologies implementation - ultimately boosting regional economic growth strategies centered around innovation-driven industries like e-commerce logistics parks distribution centers advanced manufacturing facilities health care institutions educational campuses more importantly it addresses housing shortage issue tackling affordability crisis faced many southern Californians Currently regulatory frameworks being developed guide future investments policies related network expansion deployment across regions six counties 191 cities encompassing approximately 19 million people living urbanized areas rural pockets alike estimated over past two years COVID-19 pandemic exposed exacerbated existing inequities terms affordable reliable connections particularly low-income minority populations further underscored urgent need enhance capabilities order bridge divide enable opportunities success employment education health care recreation civic engagement other daily life aspects.
"The Digital Action Plan is a critical step forward in addressing the digital divide and ensuring that all Southern Californians have equal access to opportunities for personal and professional growth," said Maria S. Salinas, President & CEO of the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce. "By working together with local jurisdictions and stakeholders, we can create an inclusive environment where no one gets left behind."
As SCAG moves forward with implementing its ambitious roadmap, it will continue engaging various stakeholders - from community organizations to technology providers - in order to build a resilient region equipped not only for present challenges but also prepared for future advancements. This collaborative effort aims at fostering greater economic equity while promoting sustainable development across Southern California's diverse communities.