The Massachusetts Broadband Institute’s (MBI) Municipal Digital Equity Planning Program was established to help municipalities and local governments address the digital divide and promote digital equity. Planning activities will result in strategic documents designed to identify a community's needs, interests, and key assets aimed at increasing access to and usage of the internet for the most vulnerable populations. The program also provides a framework to guide future municipal decision-making and target potential funding sources.
As a consultant to MBI, VHB assists participating Commonwealth municipalities in implementing sustainable, effective, and equitable planning solutions. Our team of community planners and technology specialists follows our people-centric, purposeful Smart Community framework for providing solutions within a complex realm of interrelated issues, engaging with communities to diagnose existing conditions, identify solutions, and provide a roadmap for implementation.
As of Fall 2023, VHB is collaborating with several Massachusetts communities to help residents connect to the internet, access digital computing devices, and develop the skills and knowledge to use these devices effectively. These communities include the towns of Wareham, Randolph, East Bridgewater, and the City of Easthampton, as well as the Northern Berkshire County towns of Adams, Cheshire, Florida, Lanesborough, and the City of North Adams.