As the state's leading agency for broadband and connectivity, MBI is dedicated to bringing affordable, high-speed internet to every person in Massachusetts. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law has already allocated $145 million to Massachusetts to expand high-speed internet access and digital equity programming across the state. The first step to deploying these funds is developing a strong plan, informed by organizational stakeholders and residents of the Commonwealth. Over the last year, MBI has led a planning effort that has resulted in the development of two guiding planning documents – a Statewide Digital Equity Plan and what is known as the Initial Proposal for the Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment (BEAD) Program. These two documents create the Massachusetts Internet for All Plan.
Public Comment Period: Nov. 13 - Dec. 15
Now that our planning documents have been drafted, we want to hear from you! MBI is collecting input from residents of Massachusetts to make sure we got the plan right. Your input is crucial during this public comment period as we want to understand your experiences and how we can enhance them to meet the needs of all Commonwealth residents. Below, you'll find the executive summary, a link to the Comment Form where you can provide us your feedback, and tips for submitting a helpful comment. You can provide feedback on any portion of whichever document(s) you read. Together, we can make a difference!
Tips for an effective comment from the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA):
- Support your comment with substantive data, facts, and opinions. When possible, provide your lived experience in your comment.
- Clearly identify the section within the Plan that you are commenting on and include the section number. Although comments should be clear and concise, there is no minimum or maximum length for an effective comment.
- If you disagree with an aspect of the Plan, suggest an alternative and include an explanation and/or analysis of how the alternative might meet the same objective or be more effective.
- Include pros and cons and trade-offs in your comment. Consider other points of view and respond to them with your views. Include examples of how the proposed programs and activities would impact your life and work positively or negatively.
Submit your feedback on these documents through this online comment form:
SDEP and BEAD Full Plans
Massachusetts Internet for All
MBI hosted many activities to help shape the State Digital Equity Plan and 5-year Strategic Broadband Action Plan that is available for download and public comment above. The listening sessions, which started in September, were an opportunity for the public to share their experiences, ideas, and vision for a connected Massachusetts, tackling key questions around internet access, adoption, affordability, digital skills training, and device availability. In addition, focus groups gathered input directly from covered populations and underrepresented communities identified by the federal programs. Visit the webpage here to review recaps on those events, resources, and photos from Listening Session Tour.