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Springfield receives digital equity grant to expand internet access for residents

Mason Square Branch of the Springfield library system in Springfield, Mass.
Elizabeth Román
Mason Square Branch of the Springfield library system in Springfield, Mass.

Springfield has just received a major boost to its digital equity plan, which aims to expand technology and internet access for residents. A grant of over $100,000 was awarded to the city by the Massachusetts Broadband Institute to advance initiatives started by the city’s Working Group on Digital Equity.

Three outreach sessions are scheduled this month for the public to provide their input on the plan. One of these sessions will be held at the East Springfield Neighborhood Council.

Kathy Brown, the council president, said digital equity goes beyond expanding technological infrastructure.

"I think as agencies and cities and states and federal, we have a responsibility to shore up the system, but as individual people, individual users, we have a responsibility to try to figure out how to make digital accessible to us," she said.

City officials are hoping the plan will help solve the digital divide within the community and increase access to skills, training and essential services.

In a prepared statement, Mayor Domenic Sarno said, “These invaluable investments will better the lives for our residents, granting them access to promising opportunities and an enhanced quality of life.”

The in-person outreach sessions will all start at 5:45 p.m. — at the East Forest Park Library on Nov. 13, the East Springfield Neighborhood Council building on Nov. 29 and the Mason Square Library on Nov. 30.

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