Digital Equity Progress Report

Our Mission

Seattle is working together for digital equity, to ensure all residents and neighborhoods have the information technology capacity needed for civic and cultural participation, employment, lifelong learning, and access to essential services.

We envision Seattle as a city where technology’s opportunities equitably empower all residents and communities – especially those who are historically underserved or underrepresented.

We focus on these 4 strategies to give residents the technologies they need to succeed in society

  • Digital skills training
  • Internet connectivity
  • Devices & technical support
  • City website & online services

What We Did

Funded 23 local organizations

The City funded community organizations to help provide classes in basic technology and digital skills, job search and career skills to immigrants and refugees and people with low-income, living with a disability and experience homelesness.

Created a webpage for discounted programs

We launched Seattle.gov/affordable, a new webpage to help residents connect with free and discounted programs and benefits.

8 City departments helped improve digital equity

Departments throughout the city helped provide training, devices and internet access to Seattle residents.

Many residents are "under-connected"

We obtained feedback from low-income housing residents on our website and improved the way people navigate through our site for mobile and desktop users.

Our Accomplishments

Connectivity

Free Wi-Fi at 70 locations throughout the City

In 2018, these sites provided:

  • 879,559 sessions at public computers
  • 3,888,462 Wi-Fi connections to residents’ computers, smartphones, and tablets

Residents can get free public access to computers and Wi-Fi throughout the City at:

223 organizations got free internet

Community organizations received free broadband internet from Comcast and Wave. This benefit is worth over $468,000 and estimated to provide computer access to over 205,000 residents.

2,469 low-income residents got low-cost internet

Low-income residents signed up for free or discounted internet programs through Comcast and Wave. At least 7% were residents of Seattle Housing Authority communities.

Devices

182 laptop given away to low-income residents

Laptops were provided to low-income individuals to increase connectivity and device-ownership among families with children living in public housing.

1,172 computers and devices distributed to local organizations and schools

The City provided various devices to schools and 28 nonprofit organizations

Community Stories

Tech Community Stories

222 Older adults learned how to use new technologies

At the West Seattle Senior Center, monthly computer classes teach computer basics as well as new technology skills like buying tickets online, using online maps, creating grocery lists, and listening to podcasts. As participants learn computer skills, they gain confidence to use new technologies and are better connected to services, friends, and family.

View classes for the West Seattle Senior Center

Seattle IT Community

10 residents received laptops and increased their confidence using technology

The Seattle Public Library partnered with the Somali Family Safety Taskforce to teach digital skills to 10 participants. Class graduates received refurbished laptops, provided with support from Seattle IT and InterConnection. Before taking the class, few residents felt comfortable using a computer or the internet on their own.

View computer classes taught by the Library

Our Partners

Thank you to our partners

Our partners worked together with us to develop shared strategies to address technology access and equity issues. They contributed many hours of service to ensure equitable access to digital technologies, opportunities, skills and knowledge that enable communities to thrive.

280+

public, community and private partners

  • 269 nonprofits
  • 8 City departments
  • Comcast, Wave, Facebook and T-Mobile

7,400+

hours of service

243 community volunteers donated 7,463 hours of service.

$1.4M+

in City contracts with community partners

$1,481,269 total contracts include Technology and Neighborhood Matching Funds and Read to Work contracts.