2022 Q4 Status Update

Posted on December 31, 2022

Work continues to implement the Strategic Plan, set up an operational entity, and seek funding. Since the last status update, grants totally nearly $900,000 were awarded to better define broadband expansion projects across Marin.

Notable Accomplishments and Updates

  • Goal 1: High-quality broadband is available to everyone in Marin
    • Strategy 1: Assist with the deployment of universally accessible public and public/private broadband services throughout Marin.
      • California Advanced Services Fund (CASF) Local Area Technical Assistance (LATA) grants were awarded to Marin as follows. The three entities’ grant activities will be coordinated under the umbrella of Digital Marin.
        • $500,000 to Marin County for five areas: Marin City, and the unincorporated areas of coastal Marin, Novato/surrounding area, southern Marin, and Gallinas Valley/San Pedro.
        • $258,000 to the City of San Rafael focusing on the Canal area.
        • $191,000 to the Town of Tiburon to begin implementation of the town’s Broadband Plan, which supports the Digital Marin Strategic Plan.
      • Secured additional segments of Statewide Open Access Middle Mile Network to complete the proposed partial route along Highway 1 and create a ring for Marin that goes through Sonoma County. (SB 156 Broadband Opportunities) The estimated value of the additional routes approved by the State is $7.2 million, with the total value of the entire middle mile broadband network in Marin County estimated at $30 million.
      • A three-year CASF Consortium Grant in the amount of $600,000 was awarded to the North Bay, North Coast Broadband Consortium (Marin, Napa, Mendocino, and Sonoma counties). This grant will be used to expand regional broadband access.
      • Reviewing new broadband availability maps recently released by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to verify the accuracy of existing coverage as reported by internet service providers. Preparing a challenge to at least one area of the County.
    • Strategy 3: Increase access to affordable broadband service.
      • Identified funding requirements for Marin County Free Library to hire an employee  to oversee project implementation and ongoing support for the collaborative project to provide broadband connectivity, free internet service, devices, training, andsupport at five MHA housing sites for older adults and people with disabilities. Anticipate going to the Board of Supervisors in January to transfer ARPA funds so the project can begin.
  • Goal 2: Everyone in Marin can take advantage of all online opportunities
    • Strategy 1: Coordinate and expand digital literacy training in Marin
      • Digital Marin supported grant awards for the CASF Internet Adoption Account for the Canal Alliance Digital Literacy program, awarded $147,000 and Vivalon Talking Tech program, awarded $130,000.
      • As a result of working with Marin Academy, students developed recommendations for defining a standard level of digital literacy.
  • Goal 4: Marin has a community driven organization with a mission to deliver broadband for all
    • Strategy 1: Obtain funding and create an independent operating entity.
      • Reviewing Consultant’s draft report and recommendations for a governance structure and operational model. Report will be finalized in early January.


Upcoming Milestones

  • Receive final Report from the consultant with recommendations for a governance structure and operational model.
  • Hire project coordinator and officially launch the MHA digital divide project.
  • Complete review of FCC’s new broadband coverage maps and file a challenge for Novato.
  • Meet with representatives from San Rafael and Tiburon to begin LATA grant activities.


Key Issues, Risks, & Impediments

  • Risk – Ability to secure transitional funding in a timely manner so that Digital Marin’s activities continue without disruption while sustainable funding is secured for ongoing operations


Request for Action

  • We continue to seek adoptions by every city and town in Marin. Sample staff reports and resolutions are available.
    • Please contact LMassey@MarinCounty.org for more information, questions, and assistance.
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