Ruiz, Garcia and other politicians champion the expansion of DHS Internet access

Source: The Desert Sun

In August, the company(Frontier) — which is also benefiting from state funding — celebrated the deployment of free public Wi-Fi and computer lab renovations at the Villa Hermosa Apartments, an eastern Coachella Valley farmworker family housing complex, with Democratic Assembly member Eduardo Garcia and the Coachella Valley Housing Coalition.

Garcia's bill, AB 1665, otherwise known as the Internet for All Now Act of 2017, was signed Sunday by Gov. Jerry Brown. It sets a goal to approve funding by December 31, 2022, for infrastructure projects that will provide broadband access to no less than 98 percent of California households.

An estimated 7,000 locations — mostly households and small businesses in Desert Hot Springs and other parts of Riverside County — will get new or improved access to the Internet by the end of the year, according to Frontier. The company has set a statewide goal of 90,000 locations by 2020.

The company also donated 10 new computers to the Desert Hot Springs Health and Wellness Center, where Thursday's press conference and ribbon-cutting took place.

Technology used to be a pleasure, said Desert Hot Springs Mayor Scott Matas. “Now it’s a demand," especially for students who are expected to do their homework on laptops. "It’s something you have to have.”