Enhancing Communities Through Digital Equity

Expanding reliable broadband access and bridging the digital divide.

Every person should have equal access to digital technologies, including reliable high-speed broadband service. Digital equity aims to address the divide in access to digital infrastructure that is essential for online learning, remote work, and telehealth—all of which contribute to a community’s well-being.

The 2021 Digital Equity Act was created to provide digital skills education for low-income populations, make social services more accessible online, and achieve more accurate measurements of broadband access, especially in rural communities. It also provides funding for the creation of digital equity plans at the state level and the implementation of digital inclusion projects at the community level.

VHB is helping expand reliable broadband access and bridge the digital divide across diverse neighborhoods, especially for underserved populations who need access the most.

A woman sits at a table with solar panels in a park.
A table equipped with solar panels in an underserved Orlando community provides battery backup and public Wi-Fi access (via a 5G hotspot) to residents.

Communities both large and small partner with us to grow via smart, technology-enabled initiatives that prioritize collaboration and consensus-building to enhance people’s lives. We gather insight into broadband utilization, digital equity, satisfaction levels, and challenges of current broadband service options, then make recommendations that reach community members where they need it.

VHB can help you bring efficient, effective, and equitable planning solutions to your community.

Our dedicated team of community planners and technology specialists follow VHB's Smart Community approach—a framework for providing solutions within a complex realm of interrelated issues—and have used this process to help bridge the digital divide for communities across the U.S.

We are at a pivotal time when broadband and digital technologies are rapidly being developed and made available, but not everyone has access. It's up to us to make certain no one is left behind—healthy, resilient communities depend on it.

—Curt Ostrodka, AICP, LEED AP, Director of Smart Communities