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Collaboration to Identify and Eliminate Gaps in ‘Digital Divide’

Posted on December 19, 2020


Installing a root access point for the Canal WiFi network

The City of San Rafael is part of a new cross-sector effort to develop a countywide strategic plan to address local internet access and digital equity gaps. The project, called Digital Marin, will look beyond infrastructure needs and identify opportunities for data sharing, efficiencies, resiliency, and digital service improvements.

The plan will outline projects and initiatives to help reach these goals:

  • Everyone has access to high-speed internet and knows how to use it;
  • Public agencies, nonprofits, and non-governmental organizations share data, where appropriate, to better serve our communities;
  • Opportunities are highlighted for more efficient, transparent, and customer-oriented cross-jurisdictional and cross-sector service delivery; and
  • Marin has a resilient information network that can withstand disasters.

“The internet is a fundamental element of our lives, and some members of our community are being left behind,” said County Supervisor Dennis Rodoni. “This effort will help identify and close these gaps, giving everyone in Marin a better chance to succeed in today’s world.”

The collaboration is driven by an 11-member steering committee comprised of residents and leaders from government agencies, nonprofits, healthcare, education, and business sectors. The committee will oversee an inclusive process for seeking input and feedback from the community.

“A great example of this kind of collaboration is the free Wi-Fi network we built together in the Canal area this summer,” said San Rafael’s Mayor Kate Colin. “It’s imperative to involve the community in this way so we design solutions with, and not for. We’re excited to do this work together.”

Magellan Advisors has been contracted to help develop the strategic plan. A fellow from the Marin Promise Partnership is supporting the effort as well.

The community is invited to learn more at www.godigitalmarin.org and follow on Twitter @GoDigitalMarin.

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