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Digital Equity

This guide helps you identify digital equity resources for a broadband development project in your community. Below you will find information on digital equity organizations and programs, as well as resources for digital literacy.

Digital Equity Organizations

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National Digital Equity Center (NDEC) | Website

NDEC is an organization dedicated to closing the digital divide in Maine and across the United States. 


  • NDEC offers training and frameworks for free digital literacy courses, partnering with local institutions like adult education centers, libraries, and schools to provide these classes to communities. 

  • They will train new instructors at no cost and provide them with materials and rewards for their programs. 

  • NDEC has the tools and capacity to advise towns on how to build effective affordability programs by creating subsidy funds. These can be used to help residents afford their monthly internet bill.

  • NDEC provides grants for discounted or free devices, ensuring that everyone can access digital tools with the equipment they need to get started. 


Susan Corbett, Founder & Executive Director |

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give IT. get IT. | Website

  • Give IT. Get IT. is a nonprofit based in Waterville, Maine founded with the purpose of increasing technology access and literacy.

  • Their services are twofold - 

    • Give IT: Donate retired tech devices to be recycled into computers/computer gear

    • Get IT: Individuals, families, nonprofits, libraries, and schools are able to apply for low cost devices on the website


National Digital Inclusion Alliance | Website

  • The National Digital Inclusion Alliance (NDIA) is a nonprofit that combines grassroots community engagement with technical knowledge, research, and coalition building to advocate on behalf of people working in their communities for digital equity.

Digital Equity Programs

Emergency Broadband Benefit (EBB)| Website

  • An older subsidy program that is being replaced by the Affordable Connectivity Program. This transition may be challenging because the EBB may have provided more assistance dollars in certain cases. 

Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP)| Website

  • This program is replacing the EBB over the next several months (January 2021). Enrollment opened December 31st 

  • The ACP provides a subsidy for low income homes that need support paying for their monthly internet bill. Currently, the plan provides $30 per month of assistance. This often needs to be supplemented. 

  • Subsidy programs like this one have been notoriously underutilized. Marketing these plans as a “deal on internet” or “internet savings” might be more effective than framing it as a “welfare plan.” 

  • Providers in Maine Participating | Link

Spectrum Internet Assist| Website

  • A private internet subsidy program with mixed reviews. The program limits you to 30mbps and often you are targeted for upgrade deals to get you paying more for higher speeds. 

Lifeline| Website

  • An FCC subsidy program providing up to $9.25 monthly discount on service for eligible low-income subscribers and up to $34.25 per month for those on Tribal lands.

Digital Education Resources

How to Get Online

Broadband 101

  • Broadband Bootcamps

    • Maine West Broadband Bootcamp​ | Link

    • Sunrise County Economic Council Broadband Bootcamp | Link

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