Chelsea and Revere Regional Digital Access and Equity Planning

Project Kick Off




Welcome and Introductions

Digital Access and Equity Planning Process

Existing Conditions in Chelsea/ Revere - Service, Speed, and Access

Community Needs Assessment

Project Context

Funding and Programs to Address Digital Divide

Meeting Goals

  1. Review and clarify project scope of work, process, and outcomes.
  2. Review baseline existing conditions analysis in Chelsea/Revere
  3. MAPC Team receives guidance for Community Digital Needs Assessment on:
  • Priority topics to address through survey
  • Avenues to distribute survey
  • Ways to directly connect with target populations

Advisory Committee Role

Help us (MAPC) ground truth/see information from the community perspective

Provide feedback and response to proposed strategies

Assist in connecting with community members for the community needs assessment

Own this product

Who We Are

Metropolitan Area Planning
Council (MAPC)

  • Housing

  • Transportation

  • Climate Resilience and Clean Energy

  • Economic Development

  • Land Use

  • Municipal Government

  • Policy

  • Digital Access

Digital Divide in the
Pandemic and Beyond

  • School / Education
  • Work
  • Healthcare
  • Workforce Training
  • Access to Social Assistance and Resources
  • Economic Development

Need for Speed and Chelsea / Revere

Open Data Sources Indicate that Chelsea and Revere have slower median speeds than many communities in the region.

This finding is supported by anecdotal reports of slow or spotty service in the community.


What can the City and Partners do to address this issue?

Digital Access and Equity Planning

Three Determining Factors of Digital Access

An Adequate Device



San Francisco

  • Bring free, high-speed Internet service to affordable housing residents throughout San Francisco.

  • Launch digital literacy innovation programs to provide technology training and support in high-need communities.

  • Support community-based organizations and residents with technology needs.

New York City

  • No one will face a barrier based on cost, who they are, or where they live.

  • 100 Mbps Threshold for Speed

  • Increase competition among providers and diversity of technological solutions to sustain the other principles

Chelsea & Revere

The Development of an Regional Digital Access and Equity Plan will:

Advise Capital Investment

Inform Policy Decisions

Identify Program Needs

Phases of Work

  • Evaluation of Current Internet Providers and Levels of Service
  • Analysis of Community Access to Device and Internet

Phase 1A: Existing Conditions (Jan - March)

Phase 1B: Community Needs Assessment (March - April)

  • Identification of Population Specific Challenges and Needs via Survey
  • Analysis of Available Data from School Departments and Municipalities
  • Review of Existing Infrastructure

  • Assessment of Potential Technology Interventions

Phase 2: Infrastructure and Technology Evaluation (March - April)

  • Synthesis of Earlier Phases of Work to Inform Policy, Program, and Capital Investments to Address Specific Barriers and Needs in Everett.

Phase 3: Plan and Program Development (May - June)

Data and Information to Inform the Process

Municipal Offices

  • Form 500 Annual Reports
  • Data related to trench permits or ROW operations from cable/telecom providers
  • Shapefile/diagrams of municipal networks
  • Cell tower/small cell permits
  • Anonymized distribution of Hotspot devices through library program

School District

  • Google / Zoom Client Data
    • Speed, CPU Usage, Latency, Packet Loss etc.
  • Anonymized distribution of Hotspot devices 
  • IT Service Tickets 

Journey Through the Internet

The Journey

We are going to focus elsewhere for now, but we'll revisit. This is a critical part of the internet.

There is a lot going on in here: devices, skills, wifi, etc.

What's going on when it leaves your house?

Let's oversimplify it!

What's going on when it leaves your house?

Let's look local

Coaxial cable

Cable & Fiber


Cell & 5G


Street light

Cable: Widely available, slower than fiber leverages copper coaxial cables. Comcast uses a mix with fiber (hybrid fiber-coaxial)

Fiber: Fiber uses light signals to carry internet data. Limited availability, often higher speeds

DSL (Digital subscriber line): Leverages copper phone lines as well. High availability but slower speeds

Satellite: Ideal for rural areas and available throughout all 50 states sends and receives singnal through connecting to an orbiting satellite. slower speeds

Fixed wireless / 5G: Access Points affixed to locations like cell towers and on top of a buildings antenna array that are between the Distribution Point and the customer.


Private network in public space for public good

When it comes to equitable access, the technology matters

Internet Access in Chelsea & Revere

Percent of Chelsea / Revere Households by Size

Source: US Census, 2010

  • 25-50 Mbps: Light activity perfect for single users or couples
  • 50-100 Mbps: Light to moderate activity for a small family
  • 100-200 Mbps: Moderate activity for a family using multiple devices
  • 200-500 Mbps: High demand activity to keep the whole family connected
  • 500-1,000 Mbps: Unlimited data without interruptions for families and heavy users

Across the country, the median income for households with fiber available is 34 percent higher than in areas with DSL only: $60,969 compared to $45,500

Who Doesn't Have Access ?

Percentage of Households without an Internet Subscription

Source: US Census ACS 5 Year, 2019

Almost 20% of Chelsea and Revere households lack internet service.


43% of households earning less than $20,000 / year lack internet service in Chelsea.  (33% in Revere)

12% of households where English is not spoken "Well" or "At All" lack internet access within the Chelsea/Revere/Winthrop PUMA

UPDATE [12%] of of Revere & Chelsea households rely on smartphones for internet service

UPDATE [1/3] of the households with internet access do not have "broadband" speeds

DESE Household Access Pilot

Massachusetts IT Bond Bill

  • Grants for planning and infrastructure
  • $20 million budgeted (Doesn't necessarily mean that will be spent)


Immediate Opportunities

  • $50 subsidy for income-eligible families to purchase Comcast Internet Essentials.
  • Up to $100 subsidy to purchase a laptop or tablet from provider.
  • Program is expected to go into effect by the end of April 2021.
  • More info can be found at:  


MassHire Internet Connect Program


  • Internet subsidy or hotspot for individuals using Career Center resources along with Chromebook
  • Program is ongoing.
  • More information can be found at: 

Emergency Broadband Benefit Program

Identifying device and financial support needs can help ensure effective delivery

Medium-Term Opportunities

Mass Broadband Institute Gateway City WiFi Grant Program

  • Up to $100,000 in grant funds to support new WiFi installations in Everett.
  • Public Housing/Affordable Housing
  • Downtown: Where else?


National Telecommunications and Information Administration Grant

  • $300M Broadband Deployment Grant
  • $285M Connecting Minority Communities Pilot Grant
  • More info can be found at  


Identifying partnerships can help ensure effective delivery

Long-Term Opportunities

Massachusetts IT Bond Bill

  • Grants for planning and infrastructure
  • $20 million budgeted (Doesn't necessarily mean that will be spent)


American Rescue Plan Package

  • At least $510 million will be allocated to Massachusetts for economic recovery.
  • Potential for follow up funding through the Accessible, Affordable Internet for All Act


Identifying where infrastructure is needed most can help ensure effective delivery

Our Goal for Community Engagement:


To understand the specific internet access needs of the Everett community​ and barriers or challenges impacting that ability to use the internet.

MAPC will work with community partners to identify the key functional needs of the internet in daily life, current ability to use the internet for those key functions.



Next Steps



Phase 1B: Community Needs Assessment (March - April)

  • Identification of Population Specific Challenges and Needs via Survey and Engagement
  • Analysis of Available Data from Everett School Department and City of Everett
  • Review of Existing Infrastructure in Everett

  • Assessment of Potential Technology Interventions

Phase 2: Infrastructure and Technology Evaluation (March - April)

Please reach out to Josh Eichen!