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The Massachusetts Broadband Institute (MBI) has rolled out its Municipal Digital Equity Planning 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.

According to the National Digital Inclusion Alliance, “Digital equity is a condition in which all individuals and communities have the information technology capacity needed for full participation in our society, democracy and economy. Digital equity is necessary for civic and cultural participation, employment, lifelong learning and access to essential services.”

Details

Current Projects

The FRCOG is a pre-qualified consultant to do the work in Franklin County, as are other consultants. The MBI will directly fund these consultant services to either conduct a planning charrette (with corresponding report) or develop a full Digital Equity Plan.

FRCOG has been selected to be the consultants for the following Digital Equity Plan projects:

  • City of Greenfield
  • Town of Montague, as part of the Town of Montague’s comprehensive plan update
  • Town of Whately, to be undertaken as part of the Town of Whately’s comprehensive plan visioning update
  • Regional Plan for Franklin County, for the towns of Charlemont, Colrain, Leyden, New Salem, Northfield, Orange, Warwick, and Wendell (see below for information on upcoming community meetings)

The MA Statewide Digital Equity Survey is still open to residents in the communities we are working with. Responses from the survey help us to develop these local and regional plans. If you are from the communities cited above, it is not too late to take the brief survey. Make sure your voice is heard and that the Commonwealth’s plan and our Franklin County plans reflect the needs in our communities.

Take the Survey
Map of Franklin County highlighting the communities participating in digital equity planning services via the FRCOG.
Participating communities in digital equity planning through the FRCOG. Blue towns are building individual plans, green and brown towns are working together on regional plans.

We Want to Hear from You about Digital Equity!

The Franklin Regional Council of Governments is working with eight communities on a Regional Digital Equity Plan to ensure that all residents have fair and equal access to digital technologies–including access to the internet and computers–as well as the skills and knowledge to effectively use them. The communities are Charlemont, Colrain, Leyden, New Salem, Northfield, Orange, Warwick, and Wendell. The meetings are hybrid and open to all residents of the towns listed above.

Community Meeting 1

Wednesday, January 17th
1:00-3:00 p.m.

Northfield Senior Center
69 Main St, Northfield, MA

Register for Zoom Link/Add to Calendar

Community Meeting 2

Tuesday, January 30th
5:30-7:30 p.m.

Hawlemont Regional School
10 School Street, Charlemont, MA

Register for Zoom Link/Add to Calendar

Community Meeting 3

Thursday, February 8th
5:30-7:30 p.m.

Cheney Street Offices,
62 Cheney St., Orange, MA

Register for Zoom Link/Add to Calendar
Staff
Jessica Atwood

Jessica Atwood

Director of Planning

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Ted Harvey

Ted Harvey

Senior Economic Development Planner

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Nicole Krantz

Nicole Krantz

Planning and Digital Equity Intern

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Resources

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