Rhode Island’s Digital Equity Plan Approved by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration | Rhode Island Commerce

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Governor Dan McKee and Secretary of Commerce Liz Tanner announce the state’s Digital Equity Plan has received approval from the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) today, allowing the state to apply for additional funding for implementation.

In 2022, Rhode Island Commerce was awarded $506,000 through the Digital Equity Act to plan for and support digital equity, including workforce training, digital literacy, and device access in Rhode Island. The grant required the creation of a draft Digital Equity Plan, which was informed by the state’s Broadband and Digital Equity Strategic Plan, mapping efforts, and statewide stakeholder engagement. The draft was available for public comment through February 8, 2024, and a final version was submitted to the NTIA last month.

“Having reliable and affordable broadband enables us to do everything faster and better,” said Governor Dan McKee. “Our Digital Equity Plan will help us to close all remaining gaps in access and furthers Rhode Island as a standout among our peers.”

Rhode Island Commerce, through its ConnectRI team, worked closely with residents and community partners statewide, as well as the Digital Equity Working Group, to ensure the plan reflects the digital equity needs of all Rhode Islanders. The team also joined forces with broadband offices across the United States to share resources and support. The plan received no feedback or changes from the NTIAA during the review process.

“Broadband is the modern-day backbone of our economy helping to make government more efficient and drive new industry growth,” said Secretary of Commerce Liz Tanner. “By ensuring the same access everywhere in our state – we unlock essential economic and social opportunities for all Rhode Islanders.”

Rhode Island’s overarching vision and goal for statewide broadband and digital equity is to leverage a best-in-class, resilient, sustainable, and scalable broadband infrastructure to propel the state’s 21st century economic, education, healthcare, civic and social engagement, and quality of life, by ensuring all Rhode Islanders have access to affordable, accessible high-speed internet in their homes, at their places of employment, and at public facilities by 2027.

To read Rhode Island’s Digital Equity Plan, click here.