GREENFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – A listening session was held in Greenfield to identify internet access barriers and address digital equity.

The Massachusetts Broadband Institute is hosting events across the state, where community members can voice their opinions to state leaders regarding federal funding for reliable broadband service. This Tuesday night residents stressed the importance of providing rural communities with affordable and accessible internet access.

“Depends on where you live, but it’s significant, you know up here in Franklin County connectivity is a big thing, said Alliance for Digital Equity Coordinator, Michael DeChiara.

Director and general counsel of the Massachusetts Broadband Institute, Michael Baldino added, “…and they have more financial resources, more limited staff resources. We are looking for ways to make sure they have access to the same resources as everyone else has in the state.”

As a result of these sessions, the state can move forward in developing strategic, data-driven plans, for achieving universal access and digital equity. A $147 million grant awarded to the state this past June will support these initiatives.

Local News

Kayleigh Thomas is a digital reporter who has been a part of the 22News team since 2022. Follow Kayleigh on X @kayleighcthomas and view her bio to see more of her work.