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The City’s Digital Inclusion Strategy incorporates four actionable goals to help anchor the city’s activities and investments in the digital ecosystem.

Baltimore has announced a new strategy to further develop the city’s digital infrastructure and help residents have access to technology as well as learn how to use it more effectively.

The City’s Digital Inclusion Strategy, released by the Baltimore City Office of Information and Technology (BCIT) incorporates four actionable goals to help anchor the city’s activities and investments in the digital ecosystem.

Extensive collaboration

BCIT’s Office of Broadband and Digital Equity (BDE) oversaw development of the strategy and is a result of extensive collaboration with residents, community organisations, federal and state agencies, technology experts, and other stakeholders.

The four actionable goals of the five-year plan are:

  • Reliable high-speed internet: starting with the most underserved communities, Baltimore City residents will have access to affordable, reliable, high-speed internet based on investments in future-proof fibre optic networks
  • Technology and devices: Baltimore City residents will be able to get a modern computing device
  • Digital skills training: Baltimore City residents will have access to digital skills training, helping them use computing devices and safely navigate the internet
  • Technical support: Baltimore City residents will receive technical support – in multiple languages – to master internet access and devices.

“Digital equity is not just about technology, it’s also about social equity and closing the digital divide is one of the biggest civil rights issues of our lifetimes,” said Brandon Scott, mayor of Baltimore.

“My administration is committed to providing opportunities for all residents, regardless of their background or resources to get access and to secure the skills they need to thrive in a digital world. This strategy will be a catalyst for creating a more inclusive, prosperous, and digitally connected Baltimore.”

The strategy also invites residents, businesses, community organisations, and federal and state agencies to collaboratively build long-term solutions in the areas of digital accessibility, confidence, safety and security, and infrastructure.

“This plan is a commitment to build a Baltimore that leaves no one behind in the digital age. The strategy will not only help enhance the quality of life for our residents, but also make Baltimore a more competitive and resilient city,” added Kenya Asli, director of BCIT’s BDE.

The Office of Broadband and Digital Equity (BDE), a division of BCIT, leads the City’s efforts to close the digital divide permanently and serves as Baltimore City government’s primary liaison with internal and external stakeholders in digital equity.

BDE envisions Baltimore as a city where residents can fully participate in the digital ecosystem and have access to devices, technical assistance, digital education, and affordable and reliable internet in the home.

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Quelle/Source: Smart Cities World, 21.12.2023

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