The Massachusetts Broadband Institute (MBI) has rolled out its Municipal Digital-Equity Planning (DeP) program, which provides an opportunity for cities and towns to access free consultant services to undertake digital equity planning work on a municipal or multi-town/regional basis. The Montachusett Regional Planning Commission is a pre-qualified Digital Equity Planning consultant and can provide services to Cities and Towns of the Montachusett Region.
Digital equity refers to ensuring that residents have access to broadband services (including it being affordable and sufficient bandwidth), access to devices, and digital literacy. The MRPC strongly encourages municipalities to participate in digital equity planning so that the Montachusett Region is in the best position possible to access implementation resources, including future funding for broadband access, affordability, technology, and digital literacy.
Municipalities participating in this program will receive expert advisement on the determining factors of digital access, including:
The Massachusetts Broadband Institute (MBI) recently launched the Massachusetts Statewide Digital Equity Survey to better understand the needs of Massachusetts residents regarding internet access and digital equity. Information from this survey will aid the development of a Massachusetts Digital Equity Plan. To follow the Statewide Digital Equity Planning process, please visit the MBI website.
MRPC is working directly with several Montachusett Region communities to develop local and regional Digital Equity Plans. Responses from the survey will also inform these local and regional plans.
The survey will take about 5 minutes to complete. Please complete the survey and share the link with your friends, neighbors, colleagues, and community and regional contacts so they may do the same.
The MBI will directly fund projects for consultant services from MRPC to local municipalities or regional municipal groups to either conduct a planning charrette (with corresponding report) or develop a full Digital Equity Plan.
MRPC has been selected by MBI to provide Digital Equity Planning Consulting Services and is currently working on the following Digital Equity Plan projects:
- Town of Winchendon, Local Digital Equity Plan
- Town of Ashby, Local Local Digital Equity Plan
- Towns of Phillipston, Royalston, and Templeton, Northwest County Regional Digital Equity Plan
- City of Leominster, Local Digital Equity Plan
DIGITAL EQUITY PLANNING RESOURCES
- MBI Digital Equity Programs
- MA Executive Office of Elder Affairs Enhancing Digital Resources for Older Adults Grant
Documents & Webinars
- National League of Cities – Digital Equity Playbook (PDF, 1.7 MB)
- National League of Cities – Digital Equity 2022 Webinar Series
- National Digital Inclusion Alliance – Digital Inclusion 101 Webinar Series
- Advancing Digital Equity for All – US Department of Education
Information & Outreach Tools
- Massachusetts Broadband Institute (MBI)
- Massachusetts Broadband Institute (MBI) – Recent News and Announcements
- National Digital Inclusion Alliance
- National League of Cities Digital Equity Playbook (web)
- Affordable Connectivity Program (Application Now Closed)
Interactive Massachusetts Broadband Map