California Removes Hurdle to High Speed Internet Access

California, arguably the technology capital of the world, has taken another step forward by eliminating fees for the installation of high speed fiber optic lines along state rights of way. This elimination of fees will reduce the cost of internet infrastructure expansion in the country's most populous state, removing another hurdle in the way of making high speed internet access available universally. 

The change came through an executive order signed in the fall, which also created the state's Broadband Task Force. The state had been charging communication companies a fee per foot, on top of the typical hourly fees paid by the operators to the state to review plans and inspect work that is performed on state right of ways.

Removing right-of-way permitting is one of the ways to further encourage network expansions. TechNet, a bipartisan organization promoting the growth of technology, cites it as one of the primary obstacles that states can remove to spur expansion.

The article quotes Professor Barbara O'Connor of Sacramento State describing another example of what high speed internet access makes possible:

In a better-wired state, a translator could be connected to a rural emergency room hundreds of miles away, so that a patient who spoke only Hmong, for instance, could describe symptoms …

Proving once again that high speed internet access is about more then entertainment, it has the potential to change and improve every aspect of our lives.

Governments must continue to remove the barriers and resist constructing new ones to allow private industry to better serve the public. This and continued co-operation is essential on the path to universal high speed internet access.

State drops fees for laying high-speed Internet cable

California Executive Order S-23-06