The Digital Bridge Initiative

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Background

In 2018, the City of Somerville convened the Internet Access Task Force who met for a year and provided recommendations on how to expand internet access in the City. Unfortunately, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the City had to refocus their efforts elsewhere. As the world shifted online during the pandemic, we saw the impact of the lack of digital access and digital literacy. Thus, in 2022, the City decided to look at the recommendations again based on today's world. In 2023, the Digital Bridge Initiative was created to address the digital divide.


The Digital Divide

The digital divide is the gap between those who can afford and know how to use the internet and those who cannot. People who experience the digital divide do not have the same opportunities in life, and it especially harms people of color, low-income households, people with disabilities, and older people.


Digital Equity

Digital equity means that all people not only have access to the internet, but also have the technical skills to use the internet. It will allow people to take part in society, democracy, and the economy. It also means acknowledging and removing the barriers that disadvantaged groups face.


Digital Inclusion

Digital inclusion is the work required to make sure that everyone has access to the internet and knows how to use it. Digital inclusion is important because it touches upon many different areas of our lives such as economic stability, access to healthcare, access to education, neighborhood safety, community engagement, and food access.

To summarize the three concepts together,

The digital divide is the issue. Digital equity is the goal. Digital inclusion is the work.


Our Vision

We want Somerville to be one of the first U.S. cities where everyone can use the internet with ease. We want to be a City that has invested in helping those who need it the most. This means they can use the internet to chase their dreams, move up in life, and stay healthy.

We aim to:

  • Break down barriers: We want to remove any obstacles that make it hard for people to do things online.
  • Make Internet Affordable: We want to make sure the internet isn't too expensive, and we want to keep it that way.
  • Connect Public Places: We want public spaces such as schools, libraries, and parks to have reliable internet too.
  • Help Everyone Use Tech: We want to help people use technology in their everyday lives and for their future aspirations.


Equity Statement

Digital inclusion is a super social determinant of health because it touches upon all other social determinants of health (economic stability, education access and quality, health care access and quality, neighborhood and built environment, and social and community context).

Internet access is not currently equitable in the City of Somerville, and digital inclusion plays a significant role in our community's health and wellbeing. The impacts are disproportionate to socially disadvantaged individuals; those who have been subjected to racial or ethnic prejudice or cultural bias within American society because of their identities as members of groups and without regard to their individual qualities.

Therefore, the Digital Bridge Initiative will prioritize initiatives that address the needs of socially disadvantaged populations.


Our Goals

Connect Everyone: We want to make sure that everyone in our community can get on the internet. Nobody should be left behind because they can't afford it.

Get the Right Tools: We want to make sure that people have the right devices to use the internet, especially those who don't have them right now.

Teach Digital Skills: We will work with different organizations to help people learn how to use the internet, making our community stronger and healthier.


How does the Digital Bridge Initiative determine its scope?

There are three categories of consideration:

1) Alignment with Values*:

  • Does the initiative prioritize and target the needs of Somerville's most disadvantaged populations?
  • Does the initiative empower socially disadvantaged individuals to create their own positive health outcomes?

2) Consideration of Constraints:

  • Is the initiative feasible given the size of the DBI team (2 members)?
  • Is the initiative feasible given the limited amount of funding?

3) Timeline Considerations:

  • Will the initiative make an impact within the next 2 years**?

*Priorities that meet these requirements will be particularly considered.
**The DBI is contingently ARPA funded for 2 years.

Si necesita ayuda en su idioma, comuníquese con nosotros a través de somervillema.gov/ContactSomerviva o llame al 311 (617-666-3311)      

Caso precise de assistência em seu idioma, entre em contato conosco por meio deste formulário online: somervillema.gov/ContactSomerviva ou ligue para 311 (617-666-3311)      

Si ou bezwen asistans nan lang ou a, kontakte nou nan somervillema.gov/ContactSomerviva oswa rele 311 (617-666-3311)    

यदि आफ्नो भाषामा सहायता चाहिन्छ भने कृपया सम्पर्क गर्नुहोस: www.somervillema.gov/ContactSomerviva गर्नुहोस् वा यो ३११ (६१७-६६६-३३११) / 311 (617-666-3311)   

如果您需要語言方面的協助 請撥打 311 (617-666-3311) 或於somervillema.gov/ContactSomerviva 聯絡 彩薩默: 移民事務辦公室。  

如果您需要语言方面的协助,请联系 (somervillema.gov/ContactSomerViva)或者请拨打 311(617-666-3311)。

Background

In 2018, the City of Somerville convened the Internet Access Task Force who met for a year and provided recommendations on how to expand internet access in the City. Unfortunately, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the City had to refocus their efforts elsewhere. As the world shifted online during the pandemic, we saw the impact of the lack of digital access and digital literacy. Thus, in 2022, the City decided to look at the recommendations again based on today's world. In 2023, the Digital Bridge Initiative was created to address the digital divide.


The Digital Divide

The digital divide is the gap between those who can afford and know how to use the internet and those who cannot. People who experience the digital divide do not have the same opportunities in life, and it especially harms people of color, low-income households, people with disabilities, and older people.


Digital Equity

Digital equity means that all people not only have access to the internet, but also have the technical skills to use the internet. It will allow people to take part in society, democracy, and the economy. It also means acknowledging and removing the barriers that disadvantaged groups face.


Digital Inclusion

Digital inclusion is the work required to make sure that everyone has access to the internet and knows how to use it. Digital inclusion is important because it touches upon many different areas of our lives such as economic stability, access to healthcare, access to education, neighborhood safety, community engagement, and food access.

To summarize the three concepts together,

The digital divide is the issue. Digital equity is the goal. Digital inclusion is the work.


Our Vision

We want Somerville to be one of the first U.S. cities where everyone can use the internet with ease. We want to be a City that has invested in helping those who need it the most. This means they can use the internet to chase their dreams, move up in life, and stay healthy.

We aim to:

  • Break down barriers: We want to remove any obstacles that make it hard for people to do things online.
  • Make Internet Affordable: We want to make sure the internet isn't too expensive, and we want to keep it that way.
  • Connect Public Places: We want public spaces such as schools, libraries, and parks to have reliable internet too.
  • Help Everyone Use Tech: We want to help people use technology in their everyday lives and for their future aspirations.


Equity Statement

Digital inclusion is a super social determinant of health because it touches upon all other social determinants of health (economic stability, education access and quality, health care access and quality, neighborhood and built environment, and social and community context).

Internet access is not currently equitable in the City of Somerville, and digital inclusion plays a significant role in our community's health and wellbeing. The impacts are disproportionate to socially disadvantaged individuals; those who have been subjected to racial or ethnic prejudice or cultural bias within American society because of their identities as members of groups and without regard to their individual qualities.

Therefore, the Digital Bridge Initiative will prioritize initiatives that address the needs of socially disadvantaged populations.


Our Goals

Connect Everyone: We want to make sure that everyone in our community can get on the internet. Nobody should be left behind because they can't afford it.

Get the Right Tools: We want to make sure that people have the right devices to use the internet, especially those who don't have them right now.

Teach Digital Skills: We will work with different organizations to help people learn how to use the internet, making our community stronger and healthier.


How does the Digital Bridge Initiative determine its scope?

There are three categories of consideration:

1) Alignment with Values*:

  • Does the initiative prioritize and target the needs of Somerville's most disadvantaged populations?
  • Does the initiative empower socially disadvantaged individuals to create their own positive health outcomes?

2) Consideration of Constraints:

  • Is the initiative feasible given the size of the DBI team (2 members)?
  • Is the initiative feasible given the limited amount of funding?

3) Timeline Considerations:

  • Will the initiative make an impact within the next 2 years**?

*Priorities that meet these requirements will be particularly considered.
**The DBI is contingently ARPA funded for 2 years.

Si necesita ayuda en su idioma, comuníquese con nosotros a través de somervillema.gov/ContactSomerviva o llame al 311 (617-666-3311)      

Caso precise de assistência em seu idioma, entre em contato conosco por meio deste formulário online: somervillema.gov/ContactSomerviva ou ligue para 311 (617-666-3311)      

Si ou bezwen asistans nan lang ou a, kontakte nou nan somervillema.gov/ContactSomerviva oswa rele 311 (617-666-3311)    

यदि आफ्नो भाषामा सहायता चाहिन्छ भने कृपया सम्पर्क गर्नुहोस: www.somervillema.gov/ContactSomerviva गर्नुहोस् वा यो ३११ (६१७-६६६-३३११) / 311 (617-666-3311)   

如果您需要語言方面的協助 請撥打 311 (617-666-3311) 或於somervillema.gov/ContactSomerviva 聯絡 彩薩默: 移民事務辦公室。  

如果您需要语言方面的协助,请联系 (somervillema.gov/ContactSomerViva)或者请拨打 311(617-666-3311)。

Page last updated: 09 Nov 2023, 10:40 AM