Digital Equity Initiatives
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.
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
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. Check out our engagement events planned in October and November.
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!
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 Partnerships 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 Jorgensen (Maine Housing Authority)
Len Kaye (University of Maine, Center on Aging)
Bruce King (Maine Inside Out)
Beth Lambert (Maine Department of Education)
Calvin Lewis (ZRO Gravity)
Danielle Louder (NE Telehealth Resource Center)
Jess Maurer (Maine Council on Aging)
Angela Okafor (Permanent Commission on the Status of Racial, Indigenous, & Tribal Populations)
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)
Just For The Health Of It Community Discussions Podcast
October 2-6, 2023
Digital Inclusion Week (DIW) is an annual week of awareness, recognition, and celebration, and this year falls on October 2-6. Organized by the National Digital Inclusion Alliance (NDIA) and its 1,400+ affiliates nationwide, DIW raises awareness and promotes action for digital equity solutions.
This year, MCA highlighted solutions for affordable internet access, appropriate devices, and digital skills programs around the state on social media and through our communications channels. Highlights included partner spotlights, nominated Digital Inclusion Stars, and features on the covered populations as defined by the Digital Equity Act of 2021.