Broadband Communities

Show Guide 2019

BROADBAND COMMUNITIES is the leading source of information on digital and broadband technologies for buildings and communities. Our editorial aims to accelerate the deployment of Fiber-To-The-Home and Fiber-To-The-Premises.

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BROADBAND COMMUNITIES SUMMIT 2019 95 Show Guide Sponsor percent of Californians living in rural households lack internet access because of the absence of broadband infrastructure. The Pew Research Center and the California data find income the strongest predictor of broadband status. The Pew data in Figure 3 show 47 percent of households with an annual income of less than $30,000 lack broadband at home. And Figure 2 from the annual Broadband Adoption Survey shows the broadband adoption rate falling as household income falls. This means those 3.2 million households lack internet access because they can't afford the monthly service, a device, or both. Figure 2 also shows that reliance on smartphones for internet access increases as income decreases, with 23 percent of households with an income between $20,000 and $39,000 relying only on a smartphone for internet access (11 percent have no access at all). The Pew data also show 44 percent of households with incomes below $30,000 don't have a laptop or a desktop computer. Relying on a smartphone alone is insufficient, as those who depend on a smartphone for internet access face numerous challenges. Those problems are most pronounced for "instrumental activities," such as conducting web searches, uploading résumés and performing other functions relating to employment and economic advancement. The underlying reasons for those challenges are in large part due to the technological limitations of the devices, including small keyboards, inferior devices, storage capacity, data caps and connection speeds. Intermittent access due to unpaid bills is also a significant impediment. INTERNET-DEPENDENT ENERGY POLICY AND TECHNOLOGY California's per capita energy consumption is the lowest in the nation and, as Figure 4 illustrates, has remained virtually unchanged since 1974. The genesis of this was the Warren-Alquist State Energy Resources Conservation and Development Act, which created the California Energy Commission. The Commission was charged with, among other things, developing energy efficiency standards for the state of California. The Commission, along with the legislature, must continually update energy efficiency standards for housing, commercial buildings and a wide variety of electronic appliances and devices. But with California's already low per capita consumption, the state's policymaking and regulatory bodies are looking to demand response, real-time pricing, smart meters and other similar measures to save energy, spread out demand and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Under the authority of the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), California's investor-owned utilities (IOUs) are in the process of replacing old electricity meters with smart meters. The CPUC, citing data from the Edison Foundation, indicates that more than 8 million smart meters have already been installed throughout the United States and forecasts that by 2020, at least 60 million will be in place. In California, the CPUC authorized the IOUs to install nearly 11 million smart meters. The CPUC website lists numerous benefits that derive from smart meters, including providing consumers with more information about electricity consumption and pricing, thereby allowing customers to exert more control over their power consumption. The Commission also believes the use of smart Figure 3 Figure 3

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