Addressing the Digital Divide in Revere and Chelsea

Digital Access and Equity Plan
for the Cities of Revere and Chelsea

Addressing the Digital Divide in Revere and Chelsea

Revere and Chelsea

Few Massachusetts municipalities of Revere and Chelsea's size and demographics have adopted a clear strategy around ensuring the accessibility and availability of fast, reliable, and affordable internet to residents and businesses, and most cities and towns within the state do not have a clear understanding of the role of local government in the area of digital access. Revere and Chelsea are set to become leaders within the Commonwealth by developing a plan that is scaled to fit the capacity of municipal staff while leveraging a strong resource network of local, state, and federal resources that cross the public, private, educational, and nonprofit sectors.

With funding through a Federal Economic Development Administration Disaster Mitigation and Recovery Grant, MAPC will build the capacity of City stakeholders to begin addressing the challenges of internet access in Revere and Chelsea. The project will be guided by a Core Working Group made up of City staff and key partners, as well as an Advisory Committee of expert entities. The timeframe for this project will be six months, from March to August 2021.


Your input will help the cities plan for future investment, policy changes, and program development to improve internet access and bridge the digital divide. We encourage you to share this survey with your family and friends. All information will be held confidential and only shared in aggregate form. If you would be interested in participating in a follow up conversation or focus group please indicate where asked at the end of this survey.
(Flyer Revere) (Flyer Chelsea)


Contact Josh Eichen, MAPC Senior Economic Development Planner.

The development of the plan will hinge on three determining factors

Access to Affordable, High Speed, and Reliable Internet

Ensuring that residents and businesses can acquire internet services at an affordable price, regardless of the neighborhood they reside in or the demographics of population, which meets their needs. This will be a central focus of the Plan. MAPC will work to evaluate the existing range of internet service providers and associated service availability, costs, and speeds. Based on this analysis, MAPC will work with the Cities to evaluate a suite of options that would improve the access to affordable, high speed, and reliable internet in the City.

Availability of Computing Devices

In order to utilize the internet for critical personal services such as education, healthcare, and job search/online applications individuals need a computing device with a certain speed and functionality. The proliferation of smartphone technology has helped millions of individuals gain access to the communications benefits of the internet, but is not a substitute for a personal computing devices function. MAPC will work to evaluate the computing gap in Revere and Chelsea, and steps to improve device availability for the community.

Digital Literacy

The ability to use a device and internet effectively and in a way that enables an individual to easily navigate needed uses and services is the last determining factor that MAPC will structure this plan around. Understanding the different uses and needs of various segments of the two cities will assist in creating a plan for improving literacy in a way that meets community needs and culture.

Plan Development

The Plan will outline the different paths available to improve internet access within the region, accompanied by approximate costs, estimated timelines, and proposed partnerships. The plan's recommendations will be structured around achieving the to-be-determined vision and goal of internet access and will lay out 2-3 potential pathways that Chelsea and Revere and community stakeholders could pursue.

These pathways may include actions that could be taken by the Cities' administration, school district, community-based organizations, internet service providers, or other entities. The pathways will not be mutually exclusive, and MAPC will work with the Cities' administration and stakeholders to evaluate short, medium, and long term opportunities.

MAPC will work to align this process with regional and state-level efforts to advance broader internet access. Where possible, MAPC will coordinate the recommendations and implementation steps with efforts in adjacent communities to encourage shared resources and investment strategies.

This plan will include several deliverables: 

A Core Working Committee will be formed with the assistance of the Revere Deputy Director of Planning and Economic Development and the Chelsea Economic Development Planner. The Core Working Committee will consist of stakeholders from:

  • School administrators and student representatives from the Revere and Chelsea School District
  • Representatives of the Revere and Chelsea Housing Authority and tenant representatives
  • Revere Workforce, Housing, and Business Stability Officers
  • Representatives of the Revere and Chelsea Public Library system
  • Revere's and Chelsea's Chief Information Officer
  • Representative(s) from Revere and Chelsea City Council, School Committee
  • Community-Based Organizations (CBO's) such as The Neighborhood Developers, MACIR, WEE, La Colaborativa, GreenRoots, and the Revere and Chelsea Community Schools.
  • Anchor services providers such as North Suffolk Mental Health Center, MGH, BIDMC, Cambridge Health Alliance, and Bunker Hill Community College
  • Residents representative of the diverse population of Chelsea and Revere

Past Events

March 25, 2021: Project Kick Off (Presentation)

Data and Resources

Households without internet access
Provider Costs
Download and Upload Speeds