What is one technology from
the future that you wish you
had today?

Chelsea / Revere Digital Access and Equity
Working Group

Meeting II



Future of Chelsea/Revere Icebreaker

Lightning Recap of Existing Conditions

Why Is It This Way??!!

Goals and Principles of Digital Justice

Infrastructure / MBI Conversation

Meeting Goals

Begin to draft goals and a vision for Digital Access

Discuss root causes and symptoms of poor internet

Brainstorm physical locations to target investment for Gateway City WiFi Grant. ​

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

Future of Chelsea/Revere Icebreaker

Imagine it's 2031

What is one thing that you hope will have changed in the City of Chelsea or Revere that doesn't have to do with internet or technology?

Imagine it's 2031

How might technology enable or shape that change?



Phase 1A: Existing Conditions


Phase 1B: Community Needs Assessment 


Phase 2: Infrastructure & Technology Evaluation


Phase 3: Plan and Program Development 


  • Evaluation of Current Internet Providers and Levels of Service
  • Analysis of Community Access to Device and Internet
  • Identification of Population Specific Challenges and Needs via Survey  
    • ​About 504 Survey responses for Revere
    • About 275 Survey responses for Chelsea
  • Analysis of Available Data from Chelsea / Revere School Department
  • Review of Existing Infrastructure in Chelsea / Revere
  • Assessment of Potential Technology Interventions​
  • Synthesis of Earlier Phases of Work to Inform Policy, Program, and Capital Investments to Address Specific Barriers and Needs in Chelsea and Revere.

Three Determining Factors of Digital Access



Adequate Device





Personal Computer /Laptop

Use of Technology​

Ensuring functioning equipment​

Evaluating quality of information and privacy risks​

Connection in Chelsea & Revere

Is it Fast?

40 – 50%
of households in Chelsea and Revere with internet access do not have "broadband" speeds​


This impacts reliability​

~6,104 (19%)
Chelsea / Revere households lack internet service.​


of survey respondents do not believe their internet service is affordable.


of survey respondents have had to cancel or change their internet subscription because it is too expensive​

Is it Affordable?

Speed Sources: MLab, Microsoft US Broadband Usage, Demographic Source:  US Census ACS 5 Year, 2019

Connection in Chelsea & Revere

How accessible are devices?

of Chelsea & Revere households have no computing device at all


of survey respondents disagree with "People in my household always have access to a computer if needed."

About 60%
of Chelsea / Revere households with internet lease a router from their service provider


At least 1,124
Chelsea School District families may be relying on T-mobile hotspots for internet service

Are routers adequate?


Device Source, Computers: US Census ACS 5 Year, 2019.  Device Source, Routers:  MAPC Survey - 5/26/21, Everett School District

Connection in Chelsea & Revere

Using Technology

of survey respondents agree with "I feel confident in my ability to use a computer/laptop/Chromebook

of survey respondents agree with "I feel confident that I am able to resolve issues related to my internet connection"

Ensuring Functioning Equipment

Evaluating Information and Privacy Risks

Anecdotal information gleaned from stakeholder conversations indicates that there are serious concerns related to privacy, particularly among the immigrant population

Source:  MAPC Survey - 5/26/21

Why is it this way?!

Legacy of Cable

Image Source:

Cable Providers in Chelsea


No Competitor

Incumbent Cable Franchise, Full Coverage in Chelsea and Revere

In 2011 Comcast had 8,266 Cable TV Subscribers.

In 2020 it had only 6,718

Source:  Mass DTC Form 500, 2011 - 2020

Cable Providers in Revere



Incumbent Cable Franchise, Full Coverage in Revere

In 2011 Comcast had 14,532 Cable TV Subscribers.

In 2020 it had 10,555

Source:  Mass DTC Form 500, 2011 - 2020

Competitive Cable Franchise, Partial Coverage in Revere

In 2018 RCN had 661 Cable TV Subscribers.

In 2020 it had 1,702

Accessing the Internet Using Cable

Data Center

Fiber (Fast)

Cable (slower)

Cable (slower)

Wifi (slower) or ethernet (more reliable)

Slows down every step

The farther fiber optic cables go, the faster the internet

Copper wire slows the connection

Household size further complicates things

For 1-2 people, internet should be at least 25-50 Mbps


$10-$30 per month

For 3-4 people, internet should be at least 50-100 Mbps


$35-$50 per month

For 5+ people, internet should be at least 200-500 Mbps


$50-$70 per month

Source:  US Census ACS 2019 5 Year, AllConnect

Household size further complicates things

Survey question:

How often does more than one person need to be on the Internet at the same time?

Frequently or Always

Survey question:

Have you ever had to change or cancel your internet subscription because it was too expensive?

Spanish Respondents, Yes

Source:  MAPC Survey - 5/26/21

English Respondents, Yes

Internet Subsidies

families in Chelsea and Revere are eligible for Internet Essentials and the Emergency Broadband benefit fund


Comcast Internet Essentials Plan offers basic internet service for $10 / Month to income eligible households (SNAP, Free or Reduced Lunch, etc)


The Emergency Broadband Benefit program will subsidize $50 for all Comcast service plans


Only 3,700
households take advantage of Internet Essentials -- less than half of all eligible

Why don't people take advantage?

Source:  Comcast, National Center for Education Statistics

Preference for local support

Survey question:

I would prefer to have a local resource that could support my technology needs, rather than relying on internet service providers.

Spanish Respondents, Yes

Source:  MAPC Survey - 5/26/21

English Respondents, Yes

Why is it this way?

The cable infrastructure at the household level is likely impacting service and reliability.


A lack of competition, shrinking cable service revenues, and a lower income service area are likely disincentives for investment from the private sector.


At the household level, individuals are likely using outdated or ineffective routers and devices.


Internet subscribers may not have the confidence or technical skills to trouble shoot internet speed or function issues.


Larger households who may need faster speed packages may be cost burdened and unable to afford those plans.


Individuals who are eligible for subsidized services may not be taking advantage of them due to a lack of information, trust, stable housing, documentation, or other structural and social factors.

Goals and Principles of Digital Justice

Digital Justice Principles: Access

  • Digital justice ensures that all members of our community have equal access to media and technology, as producers as well as consumers.
  • Digital justice provides multiple layers of communications infrastructure in order to ensure that every member of the community has access to lifesaving emergency information.
  • Digital justice values all different languages, dialects and forms of communication.

Digital Justice Principles: Participation

  • Digital justice prioritizes the participation of people who have been traditionally excluded from and attacked by media and technology.
  • Digital justice advances our ability to tell our own stories, as individuals and as communities.
  • Digital justice values non-digital forms of communication and fosters knowledge-sharing across generations.
  • Digital justice demystifies technology to the point where we can not only use it, but create our own technologies and participate in the decisions that will shape communications infrastructure.

Digital Justice Principles: Common Ownership

  • Digital justice fuels the creation of knowledge, tools and technologies that are free and shared openly with the public.
  • Digital justice promotes diverse business models for the control and distribution of information, including cooperative business models and municipal ownership

Justice Principles: Healthy Communities

  • Digital justice provides spaces through which people can investigate community problems, generate solutions, create media and organize together.
  • Digital justice promotes alternative energy, recycling and salvaging technology, and other technologies that foster environmental solutions.
  • Digital justice advances community-based economic development by expanding technology access for small businesses, independent artists and other entrepreneurs.
  • Digital justice integrates media and technology into education in order to transform teaching and learning, value multiple learning styles and expand the process of learning beyond the classroom.

Gateway City WiFi Program

Next Steps




  • Identification of Population Specific Challenges and Needs via Survey and Engagement
  • Analysis of Available Data from Chelsea / Revere  School Department and Municipal Partners
  • Review of Existing Infrastructure in Chelsea/Revere

  • Assessment of Potential Technology Interventions

Phase 2: Infrastructure and Technology Evaluation (Ongoing)

Please reach out to Josh Eichen!

  • 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 (July)

Digital Access and Equity Planning


Private network in public space for public good

When it comes to equitable access, the technology matters

Percent of Everett Households by Size

Source: US Census, 2010

Total Households in Everett = 15,816

Moderate activity for a family using multiple devices

100-200 Mbps

200-500 Mbps

High demand activity to keep the whole family connected

500-1,000 Mbps

Unlimited data w/out interruptions for families & heavy use

Light to moderate activity for a small family

50-100 Mbps

 Light activity perfect for single users or couples

25-50 Mbps

download speed classification

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 ?

Percent of Households without Internet Access

15.8% of Everett households lack internet service.

38% of Everett households earning less than $20,000 per year lack internet service.

12% of Everett households rely on smartphones for internet service

One-third of the households with internet access do not have "broadband" speeds

Percentage of Households without an Internet Subscription

Copy of Chelsea Revere Digital Access Working Group II


Copy of Chelsea Revere Digital Access Working Group II

Presentation for Meeting II of the Chelsea / Revere Digital Access Working Group

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