FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MONTAGUE (November 15, 2023) - The Town of Montague seeks to understand how it can best ensure that all its residents have fair and equal access to digital technologies–including the internet, computers, and mobile phones–as well as the skills and knowledge to effectively use them. Informed by state and local data and public feedback, the final plan will outline a path for closing the digital divide and achieve digital equity.
The Digital Equity Plan will help guide the Town in its investments and decision-making around services and infrastructure to increase access and usage of the internet in the community. It will also help prepare the Town to submit grant proposals to existing and upcoming state or federal programs. Montague’s Town Planner Maureen Pollock stated, “the ultimate goal is to lay the groundwork for long-term investments to achieve digital equity for all in Montague. The final plan will be incorporated into the Town's Comprehensive Plan, which is currently being updated.”
The Town is working with staff from Franklin Regional Council of Governments who are assisting with the project. Additionally, the Town is working with the Comprehensive Plan Steering Group to provide oversight of this work. The steering group will assist with community engagement strategies and development of a community assessment and action plan. The steering group will meet periodically throughout the planning process to prepare the digital equity plan.
The Town plans to offer multiple ways to seek public input to help guide the plan via a digital equity survey, community-wide meetings, and focus groups with priority populations within town that are found to be most at-risk and/or experiencing digital inequities, such as older adults, low-income populations, and households where English is not the primary language.
The Town is scheduled to hold its first public meeting on Wednesday, December 6 from 6-8pm at Montague Town Hall, 1 Avenue A, Turners Falls and via Zoom.
This project has been funded by the Massachusetts Broadband Institute's Municipal Digital Equity Planning Program.
For more info about Montague’s Digital Equity Plan, see link.
The original Municipal Digital Equity Planning announcement from MBI can be found here.
Details on the Municipal Digital Equity Planning Program and how communities apply can be found here.
For questions/comments, please contact Maureen Pollock, Montague Town Planner at Maureenp@montague-ma.gov or (413) 863-3200 x 112; or Ted Harvey, FRCOG Senior Economic Development Planner at firstname.lastname@example.org or (413) 774-3167.
Posted: to Planning Department on Tue, Nov 14, 2023
Updated: Mon, Nov 20, 2023