Bill Text – AB-2751 Affordable Internet and Net Equality Act of 2022.

883.5.

 (a) This section shall be known, and may be cited as, the Affordable Internet and Net Equality Act of 2022.

(b) As used in this section, the following definitions apply:

(1) “Affordable home internet service” means internet service costing no more than twenty dollars ($20) per month and that meets the minimum speed requirements.

(2) “Eligible household” means a resident in a group home or congregate care facility within the qualified internet service provider’s California service territory participating in a qualified public assistance program, or a household within the qualified internet service provider’s California
service territory with at least one resident of the household participating in a qualified public assistance program.

(3) “Internet service” or “internet” means “Broadband Internet access service” as defined in subdivision (b) of Section 3100 of the Civil Code.

(4) “Minimum speed requirements” means at least 25 megabits per second downstream and 3 megabits per second upstream and sufficient speed and latency to support distance learning and telehealth services. The commission may subsequently initiate proceedings to redefine “minimum speed requirements,” including by considering changes to federal speed requirements, but the commission shall not redefine “minimum speed requirements” to provide slower speeds than 25 megabits per second downstream and 3 megabits per second upstream.

(5) “Overall goals for adoption”
means that at least 90 percent of eligible households receive affordable home internet service by January 1, 2024, and at least 95 percent of eligible households receive affordable home internet service by January 1, 2027.

(6) “Qualified public assistance programs” means the California Alternate Rates for Energy program, the National School Lunch Program, the State Supplementary Payment Program, the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program, CalFresh, Covered California, Medi-Cal, and Supplemental Security Income, and persons receiving financial aid for postsecondary education.

(7) “Qualified internet service provider” means an internet service provider doing business in California with the state or with state agencies, including through a procurement contract.

(c) (1) The commission, in
coordination with the Department of Technology and the Department of General Services, shall develop and establish the Net Equality Program. Under the program, the state and state agencies shall only do business, such as through a procurement contract, with an internet service provider doing business in California that offers affordable home internet service to all eligible households.

(2) The commission shall ensure that the overall goals for adoption are met.

(d) All eligible households shall be allowed to immediately convert to affordable home internet service during the month that the household qualifies as an eligible household.

(e) A qualified internet service provider shall establish a telephone number with trained, and preferably dedicated, personnel to sign up eligible households for affordable home internet
service in no more than 30 minutes.

(f) A qualified internet service provider shall advertise the availability of affordable home internet service and the federal Affordable Connectivity Program or an equivalent program offered by the Federal Communications Commission, including by providing a telephone number for interested persons to call. The advertisements shall include placing advertisements with public and nongovernmental organizations and in media in multiple languages, in print and online, until there is documented awareness of the availability of affordable home internet service by at least 80 percent of all eligible households according to a reputable statewide survey, or 95 percent of all eligible households are connected to the internet at home according to the same reputable statewide survey.

(g) A qualified internet service provider shall meet annually with the
commission and the California Broadband Council in an open workshop with key stakeholders, including, but not limited to, the California Emerging Technology Fund, the Regional Broadband Consortia, and California Advanced Services Fund Adoption Account grantees, to confer on how to achieve the overall goals for adoption and explore options for establishing and advancing strategic and effective public-private partnerships.

(h) A qualified internet service provider shall report annually to the Department of Technology, beginning the year after the provider first becomes a qualified internet service provider, the number of newly eligible households that signed up for affordable home internet service since the previous report and the total number of eligible households subscribing to affordable home internet service.

(i) The provisions of this section are severable. If
any provision of this section or its application is held invalid, that invalidity shall not affect other provisions or applications that can be given effect without the invalid provision or application.

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