Saturday, October 23, 2021

IERBC Consortium

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BACKGROUND:

Broadband is a prime concern for the Inland Empire region.  Reliable, affordable, and available high-speed internet access is extremely important for this diverse and vast geographic region. 

The Inland Empire Regional Broadband Consortium (IERBC) is a non profit 501(c)(3) that addresses broadband technology access, planning, service reliability, affordability, infrastructure requirements and deployment, and needs within both San Bernardino and Riverside Counties. 

IERBC brings a group of stakeholders together around the issue of broadband, including both the County of Riverside and the County of San Bernardino, along with regional government agencies, cities, community-based organizations, health care providers, Internet Service Providers (ISP's), technology and engineering professionals, businesses, K-12 schools, and colleges and universities.  

The Consortium represents a variety of urban, suburban, rural, mountain and desert interests in the region with strong concern and commitment to becoming a 'smart region', closing the Digital Divide, and improving broadband speed, reliability, availability, cost, and access in the Inland Empire. 

IERBC is funded through the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) in order to provide collaborative broadband planning within the San Bernardino and Riverside County region.

To-date, IERBC has successfully facilitated $55 million in CPUC California Advanced Services Fund (CASF) Broadband Infrastructure and Adoption Grants in Riverside and San Bernardino Counties.

GOALS:

A significant 'Digital Divide' exists in the Inland Empire region where many residents are not able to access broadband internet service.  This lack of access can be attributed to geographic issues, infrastructure, demographics, cost, local, state, and federal policies, and the need for more community stakeholder involvement.

The need for a regional collaborative broadband strategy effort, as done by IERBC, is critical in closing the Digital Divide within the Inland Empire region.

IERBC initially emphasized its planning efforts on community and stakeholder involvement, along with outreach to government agencies and ISP's in order to develop a Broadband Infrastructure and Access Plan for the Inland Empire Region. 

The IERBC Broadband Infrastructure and Access Plan focuses on the following issues:

  • Needed capital improvement projects
  • Programs which address underserved and disadvantaged residents
  • Government Policy improvements and best practices
  • Advocacy efforts and Grant Funding for the IERBC region
  • Economic Development and Broadband
  • Smart Region policies, programs, and implementation

IERBC's vision is that the consortium's Broadband Plan will set regional broadband priorities, enhance economic vitality and growth and improve the quality of life within the Inland Empire to remove the "Digital Divide" by providing a collaborative opportunity for regional broadband infrastructure, access, lower internet costs, and broadband planning in the region.

The Broadband Infrastructure and Access Plan establishes IERBC as the lead strategic planning resource within the Inland Empire to help create a "smart region" and help achieve fast, reliable, accessible, available, and affordable broadband high-speed internet service available to every resident, business and stakeholder in San Bernardino and Riverside Counties. 

For more information email: contact@iebroadband.com

Funding for this project has been provided in full or in part through a grant by the Rural and Urban Regional Broadband Consortia Grant Account of the California Advanced Services Fund (CASF), a program administered by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC).

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