The Sonoma County Board of Supervisors approved a plan that promises to bridge the digital divide among residents.

The Access Sonoma Broadband Action Plan the board approved June 8 is a $315,000 investment that will explore the creation of a public/private partnership to provide internet service to the underserved and unserved regions of the county.

“Broadband internet access is not a luxury, it’s a necessity,” said board chair Lynda Hopkins. “There’s a digital divide in Sonoma County where the infrastructure either does not exist or service is simply unaffordable in some communities.”

County officials say the plan aligns with its five-year strategic plan for resilient infrastructure, by seeking to improve equitable access to broadband internet technology, wireless and cellphone services.

The project will begin with research and analysis of publicly governed broadband entities, including technical and local input, county officials said. Staff members will share findings with the board in six months.