Gloucester Digital

Equity Plan

The Digital Equity plan will address crucial barriers to closing the digital divide in the fields of device access, broadband access, affordability, digital literacy, language access, and other factors that impact communities' experience.

Image source: City of Gloucester


The Digital Equity plan aims to overcome historical, institutional, and structural barriers that make it hard for individuals and families to access and use the internet. In collaboration with the City of Gloucester and the Sawyer Free Library, the Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC) is actively creating a Digital Equity plan designed specifically for Gloucester. This plan will be informed by insights gleamed from analyzing data on broadband service access, device availability, and digital literacy from various public sources as well as from thorough community input. The plan will look ahead to set a vision for bridging the digital divide, outlining future actionable steps and identifying opportunities for potential digital equity initiatives. 

Digital Equity framework

Full digital equity requires modern, reliable broadband infrastructure, affordable connections, digital literacy, and device access. Our methodology starts with assessing the three pillars of digital equity as follows:

Planning process overview

Existing conditions Assessment and Data Analysis

December 2023 - February 2024

In this phase, MAPC's Data Analytics team will collect and analyze existing data relating to digital access from local, state, and federal sources. This phase also includes mapping of existing broadband infrastructure and of social infrastructure which exists to support digital literacy at community institutions like libraries, schools, community centers, and others.

Community Engagement and Qualitative Research

January - March 2024

After completing initial data analysis, MAPC' Community Engagement team and municipal staff will conduct a comprehensive community engagement process. This process will consist of survey research (conducted in-person as well as online), interviews and focus groups, and public events to contextualize the results of our data analysis with the lived experience of Gloucester residents.

Action Plan Development

February - April 2024

Once qualitative and quantitative data have been collected and analyzed, the project team will work to produce specific, actionable recommendations to be shared with municipal leadership and community-based stakeholders. These include policy recommendations, infrastructure investments, and other interventions.

Documentation and Plan Communication

February - May 2024

Building on the digital equity action plan, MAPC's Digital Equity team will work to turn the findings and recommendations into a comprehensive plan document. Following the publication, the project team will share the findings with state and local elected leaders, municipal decision makers, community-based organizations, and the public in series events and other outreach activities.

MAPC kicked-off Gloucester's Digital Equity Plan on November 20th with Ryan Knowles from the City of Gloucester and Jenny Benedict from the Sawyer Free Library. Here is the slide deck from the presentation

For website_Kickoff


If you have any questions or comments about Gloucester's Digital Equity plan, contact our team

Anagha Devanarayanan

Digital Equity Planner at MAPC

Will Pfeffer

Civic Technologist at MAPC 

Jenny Benedict

Director at Sawyer Free Library