The Los Angeles City Council Tuesday approved a resolution to support an Assembly bill that would give $25 million each year to the Broadband Public Housing Account to provide internet connectivity to people who live in publicly subsidized housing complexes.
“Los Angeles County internet access is disproportionately low — nearly 20% of households have no internet access or only have internet access through a smartphone. Broadband connectivity is crucial for distance learning, telehealth, remote work, job training, and employment applications,” Councilman Gil Cedillo, who introduced the resolution, said in a statement.
“Digital equity and connectivity are especially important in underserved communities that are hard-hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. A large percentage of children in underserved communities are not returning to school and need the internet for distance learning. Those who could benefit most from high-speed internet access currently lack that access,” he said.
Cedillo, who represents Council District One, noted that the Assembly bill would benefit residents of his district’s William Mead Homes, a public housing project in Chinatown run by the Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles.
Assembly Bill 1425 was introduced on Feb. 19 by Assemblyman Mike Gipson, who represents part of the South Bay area of Los Angeles County. It will be reviewed by the assembly’s Communications and Conveyance committee on April 28.