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Regional Broadband

SGV Internet Availability Study

The San Gabriel Valley Council of Governments would like to ensure that everyone in the SGV has access to reliable and high-speed internet services. To help achieve this, the SGVCOG is conducting a comprehensive study of internet availability at locations all across the region. This study holds the key to identifying the broadband requirements and potential avenues for expanding connectivity. Our goal is simple yet transformative, to provide households and organizations with faster, more reliable internet connections. 

The SGVCOG is seeking insights from various stakeholders, including cities, emergency services, libraries, public works, transportation, water districts, and government agencies operating within the SGV. Residents living in the San Gabriel Valley are also encouraged to submit a survey answering a few questions on their internet connection and accessibility. Your input matters! By participating in this survey, you'll be contributing to the effort of bridging the digital divide and making essential services accessible to all. 

Participate today by selecting the appropriate survey link below. Please answer the questions to the best of your ability. Together, we have the power to transform our beloved San Gabriel Valley into a model of inclusive and reliable internet accessibility.

 

 

 



 

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Don't have internet connection? We would still want to hear from you! Please download our Paper Survey and mail it back to our office. 

Regional Broadband Summit

SGVCOG, in partnership with Magellan/ENTRUST Advisors, held its first Virtual Regional Broadband Summit on Wednesday, March 13th that included a panel discussion on digital equity and municipal broadband infrastructure from representative agencies throughout LA County and a presentation on SGVCOGs Regional Broadband Needs Assessment results and preliminary Strategic Plan. For more information on SGVCOGs Regional Broadband efforts, email pmejia@sgvcog.org. A recording of the Broadband Summit can be accessed online here.

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Needs Assessment and Strategic Plan

In November 2022, the SGVCOG secured $496,960 through the California Public Utilities Commission’s Local Agency Technical Assistance Grant. The Local Agency Technical Assistance grants support tribes and local agencies in their efforts to expand broadband services to unserved and underserved Californians. This grant will be used to complete a region-wide broadband needs assessment and develop a strategic plan for connecting unserved and underserved communities to high-speed internet throughout the San Gabriel Valley.

San Gabriel Valley Council of Governments (SGVCOG) has partnered with Magellan Advisors, an Entrust Solutions Group Company, to develop a Regional Broadband Master Plan that will assist in the creation of an inclusive economy by efficiently meeting the high-speed internet needs of the SGVCOG’s residents and businesses. The Plan will serve as a blueprint to address the digital divide, allowing residents, government agencies, emergency services, schools, libraries, public works, transportation agencies, and other key stakeholders to have access to reliable, affordable broadband to improve quality of life.

Our Project

Our Broadband needs Assessment and Strategic Plan project will include:

  •  An inventory of existing broadband systems and services available to identify infrastructure and gaps in service.

  • Analyzing existing uses of commercial network services being used, the current costs of those services, and the applications the services support.

  • Governance, ownership, and management strategy to determine appropriate governance structures at the regional and local levels
     

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Local Government's 
Role in expanding Broadband

This Broadband study is intended to help the expansion of broadband in the San Gabriel Valley. Generally, public organizations have several important roles to play in the expansion of broadband in their communities.

  • Local government have, by charter, the objective of serving its local community. Broadband is a community-wide need that impacts residents, businesses, schools, hospitals, public safety and overall quality of life.

  • Local government have financial instruments at its disposal that the private sector does not, including a variety of funding sources that can be used to support long-range projects such as broadband networks.

  • Local government have a much longer investment horizon than private service providers and the ability to invest in long-term projects, including water, sewer, roads, electric and gas. Broadband infrastructure falls into this same category as another infrastructure investment.

  • Local government have important public policy powers that it can use to positively influence the development of local broadband infrastructure. Many local governments now incorporate broadband standards into their land development code, which enables this infrastructure to be installed with companion water, sewer, road, electric and gas projects, at costs significantly lower than could be achieved without these companion projects.

  • Local government have efficiencies in permitting and right-of-way management that allow it to streamline the construction of local broadband infrastructure.

  • Local government have access to grants and loans that allow it to implement infrastructure projects using local, state and federal funding.

  • Local government can improve local broadband conditions without competing with broadband service providers and without “getting into the business.” Local governments can implement networks that are open and available to any qualified service provider to use in delivering their end user services. These networks also keep local governments out of the “retail” business, minimizing operational costs and requirements to support end user services.

  • Is the CWPP a regulatory document or ordinance?
    A CWPP is a community-level planning document, not a regulatory document or ordinance. Further, a CWPP is not a land use, growth management, or emergency evacuation plan.
  • What is a Fire Adapted Community?
    The U.S. Forest Service defines a fire adapted community as “[a] knowledgeable and engaged community in which the awareness and actions of residents regarding infrastructure, buildings, landscaping, and the surrounding ecosystem lessens the need for extensive protection actions and enables the community to safely accept fire as a part of the surrounding landscape.”
  • What is the Wildland Urban Interface (WUI)?
    According to the National Wildfire Coordinating Group, the wildland urban interface (WUI) is “the zone of transition between unoccupied land and human development. It is the line, area, or zone where structures and other human development meet or intermingle with undeveloped wildland or vegetative fuels. Communities adjacent to and surrounded by wildland are at varying degrees of risk from wildfires.”
  • How do I get Involved in the San Gabriel Regional CWPP?
    There are numerous ways to collaborate on the CWPP development process. You may: Attend community workshops Sign up to become a Firewise Community Learn about Fire Prep SGV For questions or updates, please contact Mackenzie Bolger at mbolger@sgvcog.org
  • Where do I get more Information about the Regional CWPP?
    Explore our website, sign up for updates, or feel free to contact us.
  • How will the Regional CWPP be used?
    To educate communities across the San Gabriel Valley about their current wildfire risk and steps to reduce risk To build community capacity to prepare for, respond to, and recover from major wildfire events To foster a culture of wildfire resiliency in our region To enhance coordination and collaboration efforts to achieve collective regional planning goals and to build partnerships between various stakeholder groups in our region To use regional planning and analysis to support local wildfire risk mitigation and prevention efforts To inform future policies and ordinances To identify and apply for grants and other funding sources to implement wildfire risk mitigation projects at community and regional scales
  • How often will the CWPP be updated?
    The Regional CWPP is intended to be a “living” document. It is standard practice to revise and update the CWPP approximately every 10 years.
  • Will the CWPP affect my insurance rates?
    Not directly. The CWPP will assess wildfire hazards and risk, and better prepare communities and homeowners for potential wildfire events. Please contact your insurance provider for information about your rates. Upcoming new regulations from the California Department of Insurance will be discussed during the CWPP process, and projects and programs will be developed to address the insurance issue in California.
  • What is the San Gabriel Valley Landlord Incentives Program (SGVLIP)?
    The SGVLIP provides benefits and support to landlords who lease their units to tenants receiving rental assistance to leave homelessness. In addition to financial benefits, landlords receive a point of contact who can mediate any issues or provide the funds to fix them. This program is managed by Union Station Homeless Services in partnership with the San Gabriel Valley Council of Governments.
  • Why partner with SGVLIP?
    On top of the extra financial benefits you’ll receive directly from the program, you’ll join landlords around the County in receiving a guaranteed, recession-proof rent check and a tenant likely to stay long-term. You’ll avoid the hassle of marketing your units but keep your choice of who to rent to. You’ll be helping people who have experienced homelessness to rebuild their lives. All tenants will have a case manager providing supportive services and helping them succeed as a tenant. Additionally, there are funds available through March 30, 2022 to mitigate damage or an unexpected vacancy. Beyond that date you will be linked to services that will continue to provide case management support.
  • Who is eligible to participate?
    Any landlord with a unit in the following San Gabriel Valley cities: Alhambra, Arcadia, Azusa, Baldwin Park, Claremont, Covina, Diamond Bar, Duarte, El Monte, Glendora, Irwindale, La Verne, Monrovia, Montebello, Monterey Park, Rosemead, San Dimas, San Gabriel, Sierra Madre, South El Monte, or West Covina. If you don’t have a unit in one of these cities but are interested, you may still be eligible. Please fill out the interest form for confirmation.
  • What are the steps needed to rent my unit and how long will this take?
    Once a landlord determines they would like to participate, a staff member will promptly tour the unit. We will need to ensure that the unit is in a safe and habitable condition. In addition, an analysis of the requested rent is made to ensure that it is in alignment with the area market rent. After these determinations are made, we are ready to promote your unit the following Monday. All available units are then emailed each Monday to all of the area service providers. Your unit will continue to be emailed out each subsequent Monday to providers and promoted until such time that it is leased.
  • What kind of support do you offer the landlord?
    Besides financial incentives and guaranteed rent, landlords receive the support of staff assigned to each tenant. These support staff will help mitigate issues that may arise with tenants and help explain lease terms to tenants. Case managers consist of an array of caring individuals with expertise regarding lease incentives and housing. They provide individualized support for each tenant depending on the tenant’s specific needs which may include assisting with signing the lease, making sure the tenant’s portion of monthly rent is timely, transportation, and more. Tenants are visited by their support staff a minimum of once a month. They understand the needs of both the tenants housed and our local landlords. The Landlord Incentives support line is available if additional assistance is needed.
  • How will I get paid?
    Union Station Homeless Services will issue a check for the incentives requested within 3 days promptly upon receipt of a complete application and any supporting documentation required. You will receive a steady, reliable rent check each month, either from a non-profit who is paid by the County, or from the County itself. A small portion of the rent may also be paid directly by the tenant, based on what they can afford.
  • Whom do I contact if I have an issue?
    Should you encounter an issue, you may always contact the tenant’s case manager directly or you may call the SGVLIP support line at (909) 660-3502 or by emailing landlordincentives@unionstationhs.org
  • What if I think I need to evict the tenant?
    Creating successful tenancies begins with supporting landlords and tenants through some of the tough spots. Should an issue rise to a level that a landlord or tenant feels uneasy about or where possible legal steps are necessary, every effort is made to provide conflict resolution with the help of trained support staff. If an eviction appears unavoidable, the support staff can help the tenant to voluntarily relinquish the unit. Because they know they will continue to be supported, many tenants choose to do so rather than face legal proceedings.
  • What supportive services are offered to tenants?
    All tenants will have a dedicated support staff member who will help them with everything they need to succeed as a tenant. They will check in as often as needed (but no less than once a month), helping them be a good tenant and neighbor, ensuring they continue to receive any benefits they are entitled to, and connecting them to outside services such as medical care or counseling. Our team’s top priority is to ensure the tenancy is mutually successful for both the tenant and the landlord.
  • When does the program end? What happens to my benefits when the program ends?
    The projected end date for this program is July 2022. In the unlikely event funds become exhausted sooner, all participants will be advised accordingly ahead of time. Beginning in March 2022, participating landlords and tenants will be transitioned to a partner program with similar benefits. While the damage mitigation originally offered will terminate at that time, landlords and tenants will continue to receive case management services.
  • WHAT IS A FIRE HAZARD SEVERITY ZONE?
    Fire Hazard Severity Zones (FHSZ) are geographic areas designated by CAL FIRE pursuant to the California Public Resources Code and are classified as Very High, High, or Moderate. As of July 2023, FHSZ maps are currently being updated by CAL FIRE. To determine if you are in a State mapped FHSZ, see: https://egis.fire.ca.gov/FHSZ/. For more information on Fire Hazard Severity Zones see: https://osfm.fire.ca.gov/divisions/community-wildfire-preparedness-and-mitigation/wildfire-preparedness/fire-hazard-severity-zones/

Our Consultant

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In November 2022, ENTRUST Solutions Group announced its acquisition of Magellan Advisors. Magellan provides fiber engineering, consulting and network implementation to municipalities and utilities whose goal is to improve broadband in their communities. Over 400 municipalities, utilities and cooperatives have used Magellan to develop their fiber and broadband networks.

Contact US

SGVCOG

Nicholas Ryu

Manager of Sustainability and Natural Resources

nryu@sgvcog.org

Magellan Advisors

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