Digital Equity Progress Report

Seattle's digital equity results from public, education, non-profit, business and volunteer investments  

In 2016, the City began implementing the Digital Equity Action Plan. This resulted in distribution of more than 100 computers and devices to low-income families, low-cost internet assistance for public housing residents with Seattle Housing Authority, Technology Matching Fund grants to community groups, and a major buildout of public wi-fi in the Parks & Recreation Community Centers with support from Google.

In 2017, over $1.2 million in City funds went to community organizations for digital equity related services. Seattle Information Technology Department provided $695,000 in grants. Nine City departments invested in digital skills training.

Here is a snapshot of the past year's results in improving broadband connectivity in public spaces and for residents, helping people and organizations get devices, and providing digital skills training. You can see more in the full 2017 Digital Equity Report slides (in pdf).

Free wi-fi is used extensively

1.9 million Wi-Fi connections provided at libraries, community centers, and other public buildings

Distributing laptops and other devices helps people meet their needs

1,018 devices provided to residents, schools and non-profits

Residents borrow internet

6,584 Wi-Fi hotspot check-outs from the The Seattle Public Library

Digital literacy training opens doors to opportunities

2,922 residents received skills training through City of Seattle investments in community organizations

Examples of community-based digital equity work

Picture of two adults working together on a laptop. Title 2017 Impact: Applied skills training. El Centro de la Raza developed a mobile computer training lab with 30 new laptops and Wi-Fi throughout their campus. Skills training provided: Digital literacy for seniors, Coding, Database administration.

Picture of ESL and computer instructor and students with laptops.  Title 2017 Impact: Parent engagement. Coalition for Refugees from Burma provided computer training to over 100 parents at Bailey Gatzert Elementary and the Seattle World School.

Picture of students and supporters at City Hall celebrating the Urban League's summer program completion. Title 2017 Impact: STEM & careers. Urban League of Metropolitan Seattle helped 92 African American middle and high school students attend a 6-week Summer University Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math (STEAM) program.