Mayor Wu and Sen Markey Announce $12 Million Investment in Digital Equity and Inclusion in Boston, Massachusetts

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Mayor Michelle Wu (D-MA) and Sen Ed Markey (D-MA) announced an investment of over $12 million to bring digital equity and inclusion to nearly 23,000 Boston (MA) public housing residents, library users, and school-age families. This new funding provides free access to wireless broadband service and devices to help public housing seniors and residents get online, and will also provide Chromebooks to Boston Public Schools (BPS) students. As part of this investment, the Boston Public Library (BPL) will receive $2.2 million in Emergency Connectivity Funding (ECF) to acquire and distribute Chromebooks and home router Wi-Fi access for 3,000 BPL patrons in public housing. In addition, the Boston Public Schools will receive nearly $10 million for Chromebooks and support connectivity for 20,000 Boston Public Schools’ families. This deployment will address additional needs following BPS’ initial distribution of 55,000 Chromebooks and 8,000 hotspots/home routers. The BPL’s Long Term Device Lending Program will distribute Chromebooks and WiFi devices through the Boston Housing Authority’s communities. In order to target the unmet digital needs of vulnerable and eligible library patrons in public housing, these devices will be sent directly to eligible patrons under long-term loan agreements. The BPL and BHA are currently reaching out to key vulnerable constituencies, including seniors, disabled citizens, new immigrants, and veterans.

Mayor Wu, Senator Markey Announce Investment of over $12 Million in Digital Equity and Inclusion