Internet access, affordability forums scheduled across Santa Barbara County

A series of internet access and affordability forums are scheduled to take place across Santa Barbara County in the coming weeks. 

The forums, organized by Econ Alliance in connection to the Broadband Alliance of Santa Barbara County, will discuss unique and local perspectives on broadband internet accessibility, cost, infrastructure and speed. 

The forums will be in-person, but those who cannot attend can visit www.sbcag.org./broadband to complete a survey and internet speed test and provide feedback. 

The meetings are: 

— Santa Maria: April 26 at 2:30 p.m. at Shepard Hall at the Santa Maria Public Library at 421 S. McClelland St. 

— Santa Ynez: April 27 at 5:30 p.m. at the Community Services District at 1070 Faraday St. 

— Guadalupe (Program in English with simultaneous interpretations in Spanish and English): May 4 at 5:30 p.m. at the City Council Chambers at 918 Obispo St. 

— Guadalupe (Program in Spanish with simultaneous interpretations in English and Spanish): May 11 at 6 p.m. at the City Council Chambers at 918 Obispo St. 

— Orcutt: May 18 at 6 p.m. at Lakeview Elementary’s multi-use room at 3700 Orcutt Rd. 

— Buellton: May 19 at 5:30 p.m. at Valley Elementary at 595 2nd St. 

— Solvang: May 26 at 5:30 p.m. at Solvang City Hall at 1644 Oak St. 

Santa Maria’s meeting will also provide simultaneous interpretations in English and Spanish. 

The panels will feature conversations by various business, community, non-profit and school leaders. 

People without internet access can call the Santa Barbara County Association of Governments at 805-961-8902 to report why they do not have access. 

The Broadband Alliance of Santa Barbara County is developing a strategic plan to address broadband access and affordability. 

Lompoc already hosted a forum earlier this month where Bree Valla, the assistant superintendent of Lompoc Unified School District, discussed infrastructure needs to make “magic happen” for families during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Gov. Gavin Newsom signed legislation last year meant to provide reliable and affordable internet access to all Californians and expand broadband fiber infrastructure.email: kschallhorn@newspress.com

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