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Digital Equity Initiatives

Introduction

MCA is working to advance digital equity for all: to ensure that all Mainers, especially those that are most impacted by the digital divide, have access to and are able to use, information and communications technologies so they can fully realize all of the civic, economic, health, educational, social and other benefits that they provide.

What is MCA doing?

  • Facilitating the development of Maine's first statewide Digital Equity Plan.

  • Identifying assets and facilitating the development of the Maine Digital Equity and Inclusion Asset Inventory by The UMaine Center on Aging.

  • Maximizing participation of Mainers in existing affordability programs.

  • Working with impacted people and communities to integrate broadband into other community programs and resources (such as affordable housing or food security programs, etc)

  • Expanding digital equity within healthcare, education, and economic development through investments in community hubs and affordable device or device lending programs

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Thank you for sharing your feedback on Maine's Broadband Action and Digital Equity Plans!

Following our Reflect and Revise period in the month of June, MCA processed hundreds of pieces of feedback that were received and updated the draft plan. On August 11th, MCA submitted the state's 5-Year Broadband Action Plan to the National Telecommunications & Information Administration (NTIA).  On September 1st, MCA submitted the state's first Digital Equity Plan to NTIA.

Updated versions of the plans, including additional charts, graphics, and quotes, will be released later this fall.

We are greatly appreciative of all the insightful comments and helpful feedback that was provided by the people of Maine as we finalize these plans!

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Digital Equity Task Force

MCA is developing a statewide Digital Equity Plan for Maine, as part of the broader statewide Broadband Action Plan. The Digital Equity Plan is a key part of the BAP process, as well as grounding ongoing evaluation of MCA’s investments in broadband and digital equity.  A Digital Equity Taskforce has been launched and convened to inform and support the development of the proposal and to guide an equitable planning process that engages effectively with Maine people and communities. The Taskforce is broadly representative of people and communities that face greater barriers to connectivity.  

If you would like to serve on, or engage with, the Digital Equity Taskforce, or have any other questions, please contact Strategic Partnership Director Maggie Drummond-Bahl.

Digital Equity Task Force Members include:

Susan Corbett (National Digital Equity Center)

Debra Bare-Rogers (Disability Rights Maine)
Noel Bonam (AARP Maine)

Mufalo Chitam (Maine Immigrant Rights Coalition)
Dan Coyne (United Way of Southern Maine)
Nakia Dana (Passamaquoddy Tribe of Indian Township)
Jim Darroch (Give
IT. Get IT.)
Melissa Denbow (Machias Savings Bank)
Megan Dichter (Maine Department of Education )
Cindy Farrington (Maine Resident Services Coord Assoc.)
Sara Gagne-Holmes (Maine DHHS)
Kendall Penndorf (Good Shepherd Food Bank)

Elizabeth Gattine (Cabinet on Aging)
Joshua Howe (Maine Community College System)
Jess Irish (Bath Housing Authority)
Erik Jorg
ensen (Maine Housing Authority)

Len Kaye (University of Maine, Center on Aging)
Bruce King (Maine Inside Out)

Beth Lambert (Maine Department of Education)
Danielle Louder (NE Telehealth Resource Center)
Jess Maurer (Maine Council on Aging)
Robb Miller (Maine Department of Labor)
Rilwan Osman (Maine Immigrant and Refugee Services)
Jason Parent (Aroostook County Action Program)
Mia Purcell (Community Concepts)
Sarah Sherman (Maine Bureau of Veterans Services)
Megan Shore (Elmina B Sewall Foundation)
Lisa Sockabasin (Wabanaki Public Health & Wellness)
Lindsay Thrall (EverNorth)
Ruben Torres (Maine Immigrant Rights Coalition)
Julia Trujilloluengo (Maine DECD)
Charlene Virgilio (Four Directions Development Corporation)
Marijke Visser (Maine State Library)
Chris Waite (Four Directions DC - Tribal broadband consultant)
Tobin Williamson (Maine Immigrant Rights Coalition)
Charlie Woodworth (Northern Franklin County Economic Opportunity)

Other Resources

Affordable Connectivity Program

The Affordable Connectivity Program is an FCC benefit program that helps ensure that households can afford the broadband they need for work, school, healthcare and more.

National Digital Equity Center

The NDEC provides communities at all levels the expertise needed to mobilize broadband technologies through digital inclusion, literacy efforts, education, resource planning, funding research, infrastructure leveraging and stakeholder engagement.

Maine Broadband Coalition

MBC is a network of public policy wonks, educational advocates, businesses, non-profit organizations, government agencies, and individuals who care deeply about Maine’s digital future and believe in the power of community-driven broadband planning.

Maine State
Library

The Maine State Library helps people, makes Maine libraries stronger and transforms information into knowledge. 

Just For The Health Of It Community Discussions Podcast 

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