October 03, 2022 Baltimore County

In the latest effort to highlight its support and advocacy for digital equity, Baltimore County will celebrate Digital Inclusion Week from October 3-7. The County, recently recognized as a 2022 Digital Inclusion Trailblazer by the National Digital Inclusion Alliance (NDIA), will promote resources to connect residents with internet and wireless service as well as digital literacy programs and borrowable devices.

“Internet and wireless services are necessities for every household in Baltimore County, and closing the digital divide is a priority for my administration,” said County Executive Johnny Olszewski. “We are committed to ensuring everyone – regardless of income level – has the tools they need to be successful and stay connected.”

In August, Baltimore County was named a 2022 Digital Inclusion Trailblazer by the NDIA for its efforts to promote affordable access, digital education and broadband access for underserved residents. For example, Baltimore County’s Office of Information Technology (OIT) is leading a Digital Divide Committee that includes members from various County agencies to review best practices and implement equity-focused initiatives to address. Earlier this year, Baltimore County in partnership with Comcast, announced a grant award to expand of high-speed broadband to unserved rural areas in northwest Baltimore County which, when completed, will increase internet access to approximately 1,800 new residences.

During Digital Inclusion Week, Baltimore County will offer opportunities for residents, including:

On Wednesday, October 5, the Baltimore County Department of Aging (BCDA), in partnership with the Federal Communications Commission, will hold an information and sign-up session for the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP). The ACP helps to ensure eligible households can afford broadband, providing a discount of up to $30 per month toward internet service and a one-time discount of up to $100 to purchase a laptop, desktop computer, or tablet from participating providers.

In addition, BCDA offers free technology classes in partnership with AARP’s Senior Planet to help older adults use technology to learn new skills, save money, get in shape and connect with friends and family. The department also offers weekly direct tech support to older adults via Zoom. Those interested can email BCDATechTools@baltimorecountymd.gov or call 410-887-2002.

On Thursday, October 6, Baltimore County Public Library will host an ACP information session.

BCPL continues to offers digital resources to residents, such as borrowable hotspots and devices, in-branch computers and Wi-Fi, virtual and in-branch classes and more. BCPL is also offering an ACP information session on October 6.

For more information about Baltimore County’s Digital Equity efforts, please visit Baltimore County’s webpage.