Internet Access and Affordability Community Forums are Underway

Internet Access and Affordability Community Forums are Underway title=
Forum held in Lompoc on April 14th
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Source: SBCAG

The public is invited to a series of community forums organized by the Econ Alliance taking place countywide in April and May to discuss unique, local perspectives and experiences on broadband internet speed, cost, and infrastructure.

The forums are connected to an effort by the Broadband Alliance of Santa Barbara County (Alliance) to develop a countywide Broadband Strategic Plan that is being led by the Santa Barbara County Association of Governments (SBCAG). The planning effort aims to better understand internet availability and affordability countywide which will inform funding decisions for projects that can increase affordable access to high-performing internet with a goal to work toward digital inclusion. 

The community forums will take place in each of the eight cities and unincorporated areas in Santa Barbara County. The forums will discuss the Broadband Strategic Plan efforts and include a panel conversation of leaders from community organizations, businesses, schools, non-profits who are also from the community the forum takes place.

The series of community forums kicked-off on April 14 in the City of Lompoc, the presenters included SBCAG Vice Chair Jenelle Osborne, Pat Grijalva (AAUW), Bree Valla (Assistant Superintendent Lompoc Unified School District), Thomas Speidel (Lompoc Family YMCA), and Dominic Keen (Lompoc Library). Affordable access was identified as among one of the number one needs comparing the ability to create a statewide system for free and reduced lunch with the need to find solutions to quality, affordable internet.

In talking about innovation and infrastructure, Assistant Superintendent of Lompoc Unified School District Bree Valla spoke about their infrastructure needs to make the “magic happen” for families during the pandemic by saying that “we are not just talking about the last mile, we are talking about the final feet.”

The schedule for upcoming community forums is available on the broadband webpage for SBCAG and listed below. The public is encouraged to visit the forum listings for updates as a there are a few other forums in the South Coast still being scheduled. Simultaneous interpretation in English and Spanish is provided where indicated in the forum listings.

  • Santa Maria – 2:30 p.m., Tuesday, April 26 at Shepard Hall, Santa Maria Public Library, 421 S. McClelland, Santa Maria. *Program in English, simultaneous interpretation in English and Spanish

  • Santa Ynez – 5:30 p.m., Wednesday, April 27 at Community Services District, 1070 Faraday, Santa Ynez

    • Guadalupe -  5:30 p.m., Wednesday, May 4, Guadalupe City Council Chambers, 918 Obispo St., Guadalupe. *Program in English with simultaneous interpretation in English and Spanish

    • Guadalupe – 6 p.m., Wednesday, May 11, Guadalupe City Council Chambers, 918 Obispo St., Guadalupe. *Program in Spanish, with simultaneous interpretation in English and Spanish

  • Orcutt – 6 p.m., Wednesday, May 18, Lakeview Elementary Multi-Use Room, 3700 Orcutt Road, Orcutt

  • Buellton – 5:30 p.m., Thursday, May 19, Valley Elementary, 595 2nd Street, Buellton

  • Solvang – 5:30 p.m., Thursday, May 26, Solvang City Hall, 1644 Oak Street, Solvang

Those unable to attend an in-person forum are encouraged to self-report their internet needs and take a speed test on a personal computer or laptop at home, work, or wherever they connect by May 31 at . The Broadband survey and speed test is available in English and Spanish.

Individuals can also identify areas with low or no service, or where access to the internet is unaffordable within this test. Those without internet access can call SBCAG at 1-805-961-8902 to report why they do not have internet access.

Privacy controls protect responses and anonymous participation is an option. Data collected will include the location, internet speed, and monthly internet cost.


The Broadband Alliance of Santa Barbara County (Alliance) formed in October 2021 as a partnership between the Santa Barbara County Association of Governments, County of Santa Barbara, and the cities of Buellton, Carpinteria, Goleta, Guadalupe, Lompoc, Santa Barbara, Santa Maria, and Solvang, the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians, Broadband Consortium of the Pacific Coast (BCPC), and regional economic development organizations. The Regional Broadband Strategic Plan aims to identify broadband internet infrastructure and affordability needs in Santa Barbara County. Once the Plan is complete, the Alliance will seek funding opportunities for projects to improve affordable access in homes, schools, businesses, healthcare, and facilities to high-speed internet countywide. The Santa Barbara County broadband strategy is being developed to align with California’s Broadband for All initiative launched in 2021 to advance the State’s commitment to bring affordable access to high-speed internet service across California.


The Santa Barbara County Association of Governments (SBCAG) is a regional planning agency comprised of Santa Barbara County and all eight incorporated cities within the county.  SBCAG distributes local, state, and federal transportation funds and acts as a forum for addressing regional and multi-jurisdictional issues.


The Broadband Consortium of the Pacific Coast (BCPC) is one of several strategic initiatives conducted by the Economic Development Collaborative in Ventura County. Formed in 2014, the consortium has served as an advocate for broadband deployment and adoption across Ventura, Santa Barbara, and San Luis Obispo counties.

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pstarSR Apr 25, 2022 11:10 AM
Internet Access and Affordability Community Forums are Underway

its a cable, it cannot be bent 90 degrees' or kinked. but in essence, the cable is a cable. and will enter your house the same as coaxial ( cox ) cable would.

I find it laughable we are having meetings about this, when its obvious why the prices are high. greed.

elderswimmer Apr 26, 2022 07:11 PM
Internet Access and Affordability Community Forums are Underway

Don't celebrate too soon. I just spent 2 fruitless hours with them yesterday trying to get their router fixed or replaced. I live in Santa Maria and Verizon dumped us several years and replaced it with Frontier. I have been paying a monthly fee for this for several years.. They denied it was a problem--it turns of rvery few hours and I have to manually reset. They ran new cables in our neighborhood a few months age and this did not coincide wuth the new cable. They were uncooperative. I am looking for a new carrier.

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