The Santa Barbara City Council on Tuesday is looking to spend $60,460 to work toward stronger broadband internet services. 

If the council approves the expenditure, which will be taken from American Rescue Act funds, it would join Santa Barbara county and other local agencies to work on a strategic plan. 

“As a region, our communities lack reliable connectivity to the internet to work and learn efficiently and effectively,” according to a letter from the Broadband Consortium of the Pacific Coast. “While some areas of Santa Barbara County are well connected, including government and higher education, our businesses and our families have been affected by a lack of capacity, connection, at an affordable cost.

“We need to work to ensure final mile connectivity for our communities, including our schools, healthcare providers and our families.”

The Santa Barbara Association of Governments is coordinating with the eight cities in the county to request participation in the regional broadband strategic planning process. The estimated cost is $400,000.

The letter also states “lack of broadband infrastructure makes it difficult for the Central Coast to compete for and attract companies. While expansion may take place over time, the region has historically not kept pace with evolving technology or service infrastructure.”

The same letter refers to “short term tactics,” which include creating “an awareness of the imperative to establish broadband as the 4th utility and deliver Internet 4 all.”

Other tactics include: “Create an asset inventory of existing broadband assets and right of ways,” and “specifically, establish a GIS platform that can serve as a unique regional collaborative information sharing tool helpful to the development of initiatives based on gaps identified, areas requiring service, existing assets, and resources available.”

State Street Master Plan Update

Breaking News: A committee formed four months ago has decided to hire a consultant. 

After four meetings, the State Street Advisory Committee will give a report to the City Council on Tuesday.

Among the requests will be “to complete an assessment of existing conditions in the study area, complete technical analyses (e.g., circulation, economic, stormwater), conduct a comprehensive public outreach program, and draft conceptual urban design alternatives for the State Street corridor.”

Apparently these duties “fall outside of city staff’s project management, facilitation and outreach duties,” so a consultant is needed. 

The city plans to issue a request for proposals in early 2022, and at the time return with a contract amount.

The committee is made up of 15 people charged with making recommendations regarding transportation, circulation, parking, housing and redevelopment, historic resources, equity and accessibility, homeless engagement, public art, stormwater drainage and other matters. 

The virtual meeting begins at 2 p.m., and is available for viewing by clicking here or by viewing the city’s You Tube channel

Noozhawk staff writer Joshua Molina can be reached at Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

Joshua Molina

Joshua Molina, Noozhawk Staff Writer

Noozhawk staff writer Joshua Molina can be reached at