Santa Barbara City Council on Tuesday plans to spend $ 60,460 to work on stronger broadband Internet services.
If the board approves the spending, which will be taken from American Rescue Act funds, it will join Santa Barbara County and other local agencies to work on a strategic plan.
“As a region, our communities lack reliable Internet connectivity to work and learn effectively and efficiently,” according to a letter from the Broadband Consortium of the Pacific Coast. “While some areas of Santa Barbara County are well connected, including government and higher education, our businesses and families have been affected by a lack of capacity, of connection, at an affordable cost.
“We must work to ensure last mile connectivity for our communities, including our schools, our health care providers and our families.”
The Santa Barbara Association of Governments is coordinating with the eight towns in the county to request participation in the regional broadband strategic planning process. The estimated cost is $ 400,000.
The letter also states that “the lack of broadband infrastructure makes it difficult for the central coast to compete and attract businesses. Although expansion can take place over time, the region has historically not kept pace with changes in technology or service infrastructure “.
The same letter refers to “short-term tactics”, which include creating “awareness of the imperative to establish broadband as the fourth public service and provide Internet 4 to all”.
Other tactics include: “Create an inventory of existing broadband assets and rights of way” and “more specifically, establish a GIS platform that can serve as a unique regional collaborative information sharing tool useful for development. initiatives based on identified gaps, areas requiring service, existing assets and available resources. “
State Street Master Plan Update
Latest news: A committee formed four months ago has decided to hire a consultant.
After four meetings, the State Street advisory committee will report to city council on Tuesday.
Requests will include “to complete an assessment of existing conditions in the study area, full technical analyzes (p.”
Apparently these tasks “do not fall under the tasks of project management, facilitation and outreach of city staff”, so a consultant is needed.
The city plans to launch a tender in early 2022, and at the time to come back with a contract amount.
The committee is made up of 15 people responsible for making recommendations regarding transportation, traffic, parking, housing and redevelopment, historic resources, equity and accessibility, homeless engagement, public art, stormwater drainage and other issues.
The virtual meeting starts at 2 p.m. and can be viewed by clicking here or by watching the city’s You Tube channel.