Assembly Bill 41 (AB 41) will update the Digital Infrastructure and Video Competition Act (DIVCA) to the Digital Equity and Video Franchising Act (DEVFA) and address modern issues with broadband connectivity, subscriber discrimination by telecommunications providers, and other digital equity barriers that affect Californian’s ability to access high-quality video and broadband services. The Digital Infrastructure and Video Competition Act (DIVCA) was passed in 2006 to encourage competition in the cable market to benefit consumers. The major implementation goals of DIVCA were not restricted to video franchises but focused on increasing the deployment of broadband infrastructure within California, particularly to unserved communities. Over 17 years later, it is clear that DIVCA has fallen short of its promises, given the number of households still lacking access to broadband services. In California, 5.5% of residents don't have adequate broadband infrastructure, and 59.2% live in areas with only one internet provider.
Furthermore, DIVCA’s outdated anti-discrimination statutes and a lack of focus around digital equity issues generates little incentive for providers to give equal service to low-income and unserved areas. AB 41 aligns the CPUC’s authority with Federal Law, creates a robust application and renewal process for ten-year State Video Franchises, grants the Commission authority to regulate terms and conditions, and allows the Commission to establish service quality requirements and a mechanism for customer complaints. Most importantly, AB 41 requires cable franchises to provide “equal access” to services. Please join the fight to get more Californians connected.
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Fact Sheet and Support Letters -