California is the 13th most well-connected state in the U.S. overall. In general, southern California has more robust infrastructure than the northern part of the state. The statewide average download speed is currently 92.6 Mbps.
The Digital Divide in California
When quantifying the digital divide, we believe it is important to take both access and affordability into account. To that end, there are 1.3 million people in California without access to a wired connection capable of 25 Mbps download speeds. Another 1.5 million have access to only one wired provider, leaving them no options to switch. Finally, 889,000 residents don’t have any wired internet providers available where they live at all.
Our latest affordability data shows that 70% (about 28 million) of California residents have access to a standalone broadband internet plan under $60 per month as of Q4, 2019. This is significantly higher than the 51.5% of consumers that have access to the same at the national level.
Manhattan Beach is currently the most well-connected town in the state. 100% of residents in the area have access to multiple broadband-level internet options, including at least one fiber option. Fullerton is the most connected larger city, enjoying the same widespread coverage and choice in technology. Other major cities in California like Los Angeles and San Francisco are similar.
In contrast, some of the worst-connected cities and towns in California include Irvine, Elk Grove, San Jose, Amboy, Santa Barbara, and Roseville. See how California stacks up against the rest of the nation here.
Lawmakers in the state established the California Broadband Council (CBC) in 2010 in an effort to create an easier way for state agencies to work together across disciplines to improve broadband access to residents. One of the most active members of the council is the California Emerging Technology Fund (CETF), a quasi-governmental nonprofit founded in 2005. The fund received an initial $60 million, which went toward grants aimed at improving digital literacy, educating local leaders, and supporting technology adoption in communities across the state.
The information above is taken from a mix of public and private datasets. More about our data here.