Boston Mayor Kim Janey, along with the city’s Department of Innovation and Technology, announced the commissioning of a report that will examine the availability, cost, and quality of broadband city-wide, the city announced September 2.
The State of Broadband Equity Report will ultimately look to identify any service disparities in the city and identify which broadband offerings are available by neighborhood.
“The last 18 months have underscored that internet access is a public good. In those places where high-quality broadband has been affordable and accessible, it has helped youth stay engaged in school, grandparents connect with their grandchildren, and employees remain productive while apart,” Janey said in a press release. “I want to ensure that every resident – regardless of zip code, age, or income – has access to quality choices to get online.”
This is the first time Boston has undertaken such a project, and Janey is requesting service and pricing data from broadband internet service providers by neighborhood. The report will be developed along with consultant firm CTC Technology and Energy.
CTC will also document internet options from across the city, uploading their terms, pricing, and upload and download speeds as part of the report. The partnership will also lead to the creation of a website that will allow members of the public to submit comments and check their internet speeds.
“The City has made significant investments to bring public services online, from community meetings to City permitting to public notices. This summer, we also invested nearly $500,000 in nonprofit organizations to increase digital equity,” David Elges, Boston’s CIO, said. “This report will help us identify how and where it is best to invest those funds to close the digital divide.”
The report will look to build on the work done in a previous digital equity report by the Boston Human Rights Commission.