Jimmy Panetta

04/11/2024 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 04/11/2024 13:16

Rep. Panetta and Monterey Bay Economic Partnership Host Aptos Roundtable on Broadband Buildout

Aptos, CA - United States Representative Jimmy Panetta (CA-19), in collaboration with the Monterey Bay Economic Partnership, convened a community roundtable in Aptos to discuss the ongoing buildout of broadband service in California's 19th Congressional District and across the country. This was the third community dialogueRep. Panetta has hostedwith local leaders and residents as he works to secure widespread, reliable broadband and cellular service throughout California's 19th Congressional District.

The Bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act invested $42.45 billion, with $1.86 billion to California to support broadband expansion. The roundtable discussed ways for the partners at all levels to engage with state and federal partners to improve service and connectivity.

"I will continue to work with leaders at all levels to ensure that together we can not only highlight the lack of connectivity, but also the steps that we need to take for future connectivity throughout California's 19th Congressional District," said Rep. Panetta. "As the federal government plays its part with our historic legislation for the expansion of broadband service throughout the country, these types of roundtables in our communities are a way to provide information and ensure that all of us play a role to implement that major investment. I'm proud to partner with the MBEP and many others at the local and state levels so that we can work to connect and provide new opportunities."

"Access to reliable and affordable internet has become a critical necessity impacting education, healthcare, and economic opportunities, especially in South County Santa Cruz, often referred to as the ''Greater Aptos' area, given its close proximity to Silicon Valley. Yet, too many disparities persist," said Monterey Bay Economic Partnership (MBEP) President & CEO Tahra Goraya. "Investing in broadband infrastructure, fostering public-private partnerships, and expanding last-mile connectivity are essential steps toward closing the Digital Divide in our rural communities and across the Monterey Bay region."

"High speed internet is essential for everyone today and critical for our economy," said Aptos Chamber of Commerce President John Hibble. "Thanks to Congressman Panetta's round table presentation, federal and state funding programs were identified to provide internet for all. It is a use-it-or loose-it opportunity that we must be prepared to act on now."

The Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment (BEAD) Program is currently being implemented in California by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC). Residents of Aptos and California's 19th Congressional District are encouraged to review broadband maps developed by the Federal Communications Commission to ensure accuracy and better target broadband infrastructure improvement efforts.

To view your location and national maps visit: HERE.

If the map is inaccurate and identifies a location as served despite lacking broadband access, let Rep. Panetta's office know by visiting, HERE.

The roundtable brought together a select group of local business and community leaders, representatives from state elected offices, county government officials, area-serving ISPs, as well as state and federal broadband offices for a discussion and forum on broadband infrastructure and connectivity in the area.

Residents can sign up for updates from CPUC on continued work to expand broadband by visiting, HERE.