Skip to Content

Collaboration and Research Lay the Foundation for CT State Digital Equity Plan

Prior commitments and policies designed to close the digital divide have helped accelerate the development of Connecticut’s Digital Equity Plan, led through its Department of Administrative Services’ Commission for Educational Technology.

During the pandemic, the state’s governor established the Everybody Learns initiative, which included purchasing and rapidly deploying more than 140,000 student computers and provisioning 50,000 home internet connections. During the same period, the state passed legislation that gave Connecticut advanced insights into the digital divide. Public Act 21-159 established a statewide broadband mapping hub with provider data reflecting the nearly universal availability but only a 75 percent adoption rate of high-speed service across the state. These insights enabled Connecticut to focus on the economic, behavioral, and trust barriers to achieving digital equity. 

Research into these barriers has come through strong interagency collaboration and partnerships with the University of Connecticut’s School of Public Policy and local stakeholder groups. Intensive focus group discussions, statewide resident surveys, and detailed indexing of existing programs point to the need for broader access to training and support for residents, and trusted resources that equip them with affordable connections and devices that meet their needs. While still in development, Connecticut’s Digital Equity Plan will aim to put in place solutions that leverage efficiencies at the state and regional level while capitalizing on local partners that have earned the trust of residents to engage fully in today’s digital world for learning, work, health, and wellbeing.