Digital Equity

Digital Equity is defined as a condition in which all individuals in a society can access the technology needed to fully participate in our society, democracy, and economy. The Office of Broadband Programs (OBP) is taking steps towards achieving digital equity in Montgomery County, through programs such as expanding broadband services, educating seniors, and aiding individuals in connecting to the internet.

Bridging the Digital Divide
Montgomery County is supporting Digital Equity in Several Ways

Surveys

OBP is currently conducting various servers to determine the different access levels to broadband and the internet around the county. So far, the county has completed a survey of 32,200 rural and adjacent households to determine whether they subscribed to internet service, found it affordable, and whether they would pay more for higher speeds. You can help by testing your internet HERE to help determine areas that are prone to slower internet.

Rural Broadband

In recent field surveys, OBP estimates 362 properties within the Agricultural Reserve have a lack of access to broadband service. OBP is continuing to work with Comcast and Verizon and fixed wireless provider Telegia to expand service to these rural areas, with recent successes in the Sugarland road area. Additionally, OBP continues to study the issue and seek funding for further progress to be made.

Senior Planet

In 2016, ultraMontgomery partnered with Older Adults Technology Services to bring their award winning technology instructional program to us. These free courses offered through Senior Planet cover a range of topics including technology basic skills, online shopping, health and wellness, social engagement, and entrepreneurship.

Montgomery Connects

Montgomery Connects makes sure that everyone understands how to access the internet by providing one-on-one training to teach seniors how to use technology, introducing public WiFi networks, and getting people signed up for low-income plans.

Survey

An initial field survey to determine Comcast and Verizon deployments in the Agricultural Reserve has been completed, and OBP is working with our Congressional delegation to increase pressure on Verizon to use its federal Connect America Fund grants to complete construction in the Agricultural Reserve ahead of the request 2024 required completion date. OBP further intends to leverage this work to apply for a Maryland and federal grant in fall 2020 to extend fiber to the approximately 365 addresses that do not have home internet access. OBP has also reached out to wireless providers to see if any of these addresses can be served in 2020.

Rural Broadband

The OBP has conducted field surveys to determine which properties in the Agricultural Reserve do not have access to Comcast or Verizon broadband service. Based on these field surveys OBP estimates that 362 properties in the Agricultural Reserve do not have access to Comcast or Verizon broadband services.

Verizon has recently completed construction through Barley Field Lane and Laytonsville areas. Verison is continuing to build internet access in the Agricultural Reserve after having received federal funding to build out most of the rural western portions of the Agriculture Reserve.

Where service is not available, under the Comcast franchise agreements, subscribers must pay additional costs to extend cable operator infrastructure if there is less than 15 homes per line mile.

Senior Planet

Join us for 60+ online programs every week to keep learning, connecting, and exploring during the pandemic, all from the safety of your home! These courses, programs, and activities are changing the lives of older adults far beyond technology.

Montgomery Connects

Low-income internet
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Sign Up

Sign up for low cost internet.

Low-income internet
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One Touch Tech Support

Sign up for one touch virtual tech support.

Low-income internet
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Find WiFi Locations

Find public WiFi locations around MoCo.

Low-income internet
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