Municipal Digital Equity Planning Services
Cape Cod Commission is a pre-qualified planning service provider through the Massachusetts Broadband Institute’s (MBI) Municipal Digital Equity Planning Program. The purpose of this program is to assist municipalities in assessing the digital divide in their community (the lack of affordable internet access, affordable devices appropriate for an individual’s civic, social, and employment needs, and the skills necessary to engage digitally) and finding solutions towns can further through other state and local efforts. The program is appropriate both for last-mile towns that have high-speed broadband to most residences as well as towns that do not yet have this service.
The goal of the Municipal Digital Equity Planning Program is to enable municipalities, or other local bodies of government, to understand their access and adoption challenges to digital equity in order to bridge the digital divide.
Municipal Digital Equity Planning activities are designed to accomplish two goals:
- Guide municipal decision-making and investments to increase access, adoption, and usage of the internet for the populations most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Prepare municipalities to submit grant proposals to existing or forthcoming state or federal programs to support digital equity activities.
Municipalities may choose between two planning options: an intensive short-term workshop/charrette (approximately 8 hours) and/or a more focused planning process (3-6 months), both of which will engage stakeholders to gather information on local digital equity needs and issues.
The Commission will use the information gathered in collaboration with digital equity stakeholders to identify priorities, challenges, and solutions. The resulting report will be issued to the town and incorporated into the statewide digital planning efforts being coordinated by MBI.
Members of Commission staff are available to assist in the application process and explain each planning option. Communities are encouraged, when appropriate, to consider a multi-town subregional approach to digital equity planning, where appropriate.
More information and the online municipal application can be found at the MBI website. https://broadband.masstech.org/municipal