Massachusetts Broadband Institute Grants

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Massachusetts Broadband Institute Grants

Internet Hubs at Housing Authorities

MAPC was selected by the Massachusetts Broadband Institute (MBI) to expand internet access in Quincy, Malden, Revere, Chelsea, and Everett. MAPC is using MBI grants to expand Internet access in housing authority sites.


On October 22, 2020, the Baker-Polito administration announced a $774 million comprehensive Economic Recovery Plan. As part of this plan, the Massachusetts Broadband Institute administers programs to expand Internet access for people impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and is issuing grants to municipalities to set up Internet hotspots.

MAPC was selected by MBI to administer the grants in five gateway cities: Quincy, Malden, Revere, Chelsea, and Everett. After conducting community needs assessments, MAPC determined that cost of Internet is a limiting factor in these communities and identified housing authorities as partners and possible grantees.

Interested in learning more? Contact Josh Eichen at

MAPC's Process

Site Acquisition for Hotspots

MAPC will tour facilities and determine where infrastructure can most easily support wireless equipment and create the greatest impact. MAPC and technical partner Education Super Highway will develop initial network designs and budgets; then MAPC will work with network design and installation companies to evaluate designs and propose a Scope of Work and Bill of Materials for each site.  

Community Engagement

At each site, MAPC will conduct community outreach to share project plans and collect feedback from community members.

Site Preparation and Hotspot Installation

With support from community members, and in coordination with housing authorities and municipal leaders, MAPC will identify qualified contractors to design, install, and maintain these networks. Those contractors will update network designs and hire subcontractors, if necessary, to prepare the sites for network equipment installation.

Internet Connectivity

MAPC will collect proposals and cost estimates from Internet backhaul providers to make high-speed connections, selecting providers who meet a variety of criteria; including cost, effective design, considerations of future network growth, and network support.  

Maintenance and Technical Support

Network design and installation companies will also serve as ongoing maintenance and support providers. MAPC will work with network owners and community organizations to create opportunities for digital skills training and employment.



Sustainability and longevity will be a core consideration for MAPC during planning. MBI grant funds will pay for installation and the first year of connectivity. MAPC will work with municipal leaders, public organizations, and private organizations to create a plan to continue network operations beyond the first year.

Device ownership and digital literacy:

MAPC acknowledges that connectivity is just one part of the challenge that Massachusetts residents may face in being able to take advantage of the resources and opportunities online. Device ownership and digital literacy complete the picture of an individual who can use the Internet effectively.

To this end, MAPC is working to develop a companion Digital Navigator program in these communities. Digital Navigators are the “social workers of the Internet," helping new users navigate their digital devices and the web, register for discounted subscriptions and purchase adequate devices. Read our Request for Information on the Digital Navigator program to learn more.