The Massachusetts Healthy Aging Collaborative is grateful to have participated in a working group led by MassINC and the Massachusetts Competitive Partnership that informed a new report titled “Connecting Communities Through Digital Equity.”
The report builds on MassINC’s 2020 digital divide research, framing the challenges and opportunities ahead, and outlining a near-term action plan.
MHAC was able to promote inclusion of older adults within the report, which advocates for a cross-sector and collaborative approach to advancing digital equity. There are also case study examples from AgeSpan and Boston’s Age Strong Commission.
Broadly, the report outlines the progress made and current opportunities relative to digital equity across the state. As the report states:
households on the wrong side of the digital divide are heavily concentrated in urban areas. More than half of Massachusetts residents without home internet access live in Boston or one of the state’s 26 Gateway Cities. Given their acute needs, these communities have appropriately been a focal point for digital equity efforts in the pandemic response. The capacity they are building in order to tackle this challenge is beginning to extend regionally, to households in more suburban and rural communities.
The recommendations, data and examples are all available in the full report.