In an effort to spur broadband penetration, the California Broadband Task Force has issued its report to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and the state Legislature.

The report, titled "The State of Connectivity: Building Innovation Through Broadband," represents the culmination of more than a year’s worth of work by the task force, including maps of current broadband availability and speed, recommendations to achieve universal access and increased use, and a timeframe in which to meet these critical goals.

The task force report found that nearly 2,000 communities throughout the state are still unable to access high-speed Internet, and that only half of Californians have access to broadband at speeds greater than 10 Mbps. In addition, even though availability rates are at 96 percent, just a little more than half of California households use broadband.

The task force came up with seven recommendations in the report, each containing action items to be led by both the public and private sector:

• Build out high-speed broadband infrastructure to all Californians.
• Develop a model permitting standards and encourage collaboration among providers.
• Increase the use and adoption of broadband and computer technology.
• Engage and reward broadband innovation and research.
• Create a statewide e-health network.
• Leverage educational opportunities to increase broadband use.
• Continue state-level and statewide leadership.

“The Task Force and its members should be commended for their efforts to address an issue that is important to all Californians,” said Ken McNeely, president of AT&T California.

“As a leader in delivering broadband to consumers, businesses and government, we recognize that a strong broadband infrastructure is the foundation for the 21st century economy. An improved digital infrastructure will also bring new jobs and ensure the Golden State remains a leader in driving new, innovative technologies.”

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