High-Speed Broadband in California Libraries

Project Goal

To bring high-speed broadband to all California public libraries by connecting them to the California Research and Education Network (CalREN)—a high-capacity 3,800-mile fiber-optic-based network designed to meet the unique requirements of over 20 million users, including the vast majority of K-20 students together with educators, researchers, and others working in California’s vital public-serving institutions.

Investment Since 2014


Funding for grants that make it easier for libraries to connect


Ongoing annual appropriation

Results and Impact

of the public library jurisdictions that need support to meet California’s broadband standards are connected or connecting to the California Research and Education Network through this project.
of California’s 1,130 main and branch libraries are now connected or connecting.
5 new jurisdictions will begin connecting to broadband in 2021.

Staff in connected libraries report*

  • Their libraries are:
    • providing better support for individual and group online learning,
    • introducing new services and programs,
    • better able to support economic development in the community, and
    • receiving fewer complaints about Internet speed.
  • Community members can use their mobile devices effectively in the library.
  • Library staff can work more efficiently and have access to improved training and professional development opportunities.

Search our database of libraries that are connected and connecting to CalREN.

Broadband Support Grants Available Through June 30, 2022

Broadband Support Grants

Eligible Costs:

  • First year connection costs
  • Equipment to support connections
  • Consulting costs related to configuration and installation of equipment
  • Construction costs related to expansion of necessary infrastructure to make connections
  • Construction costs related to required upgrades of inside wiring and other facilities to make connections viable
  • Technical network training for librarians

Libraries that have previously received support from the State Library may be eligible for additional funds.

All grant application deadlines are rolling.

If you have questions about applying for a grant, please contact Christian DeLay.

Project Partners

Corporation for Education Network Initiatives in California (CENIC): CENIC operates and maintains the California Research and Education Network (CalREN). The CalREN backbone includes roughly 8,000 miles of CENIC-owned and managed fiber, last-mile fiber, and hundreds of optical components.

CALIFA: A nonprofit library membership consortium and the project’s aggregator. Califa is the project’s partner, contracting, and billing agent, administers the project’s Technology Improvement Grant funds, and supports participating libraries.


Lighting Up Libraries: High-Speed Broadband in California Public Libraries , April 2, 2015 (PDF)

More Information and Resources

Please visit the Califa website for further information, including: a project summary and background; list of key facts; E-rate and CTF information and documents; FAQs for project participants; steps to connect to CalREN; glossary of broadband terms; statewide reports and publications; and broadband press archives. See Awarded Aggregator and Program Manager Proposal and Award Letter.

* Library directors are asked to complete an evaluation survey when their libraries have been connected to CalREN for twelve months.