Press Releases

Lt. Governor Susan Bysiewicz



(Hartford, CT) — Today, Lieutenant Governor Susan Bysiewicz and Department of Administrative Services (DAS) Commissioner Michelle Gilman announced the launch of a Digital Equity Survey as part of the development of a multi-year, state-wide Digital Equity Plan to help Connecticut residents improve their access to and experience using the internet. The announcement was made at East Hartford Public Library.

“The pandemic highlighted many disparities throughout our state. As schools, jobs, and events moved online – we saw the already existing digital divide worsen. Especially in our low-income, rural, and remote communities,” Lt. Governor Bysiewicz said. “Access to the internet has become less of a luxury, and it is now really, a necessity. This survey will help us to receive the information necessary to improve reliable access to the internet for our residents.”

“At DAS, in collaboration with our agency and community partners, we’re taking a 360-degree approach in how we provide digital services to Connecticut residents,” said DAS Commissioner Michelle Gilman. “As we move forward with developing an all-digital government, where residents can access easy-to-use state services and information online, we must ensure that all of our residents have the connectivity, infrastructure, and education to access those critical services. The Digital Equity Survey is one way we will create a people-first and people-focused Digital Equity Plan.”

In late 2022, DAS was awarded a $750,000 planning grant by the U.S Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) with funding under the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. With the funding, DAS’ Commission for Educational Technology is leading a multi-year effort to design and implement a statewide Digital Equity Plan. The goal of this plan is to ensure that all residents have access to and can utilize technology for learning, career advancement, leveraging state services, health and wellness, and overall participation in society. The Digital Equity Plan is expected to be completed and submitted to the NTIA in the Fall of 2023, with implementation funding expected in 2024. Also in late 2022, DEEP was awarded $5,000,000 in Initial Planning Funds by the NTIA to lay the groundwork for the Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment (BEAD) Program which will expand high-speed internet in every community in Connecticut. As part of this effort, DEEP is designing a Five-Year Action Plan that will be closely linked to the forthcoming Digital Equity Plan and integral to all broadband planning, deployment, mapping, equity, and adoption activities. “Fast, reliable, and affordable internet connectivity is an essential element of life today, and for many in our state, especially those in low-income and underserved areas, barriers to connectivity remain,” DEEP Commissioner Katie Dykes said. “That’s why DEEP’s Office of Telecommunications and Broadband, working closely with DAS and other partners, is hard at work developing a five-year action plan that will inform our Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment (BEAD) program. This survey will help to inform our state’s Digital Equity Plan and the BEAD program, ensuring that we’re aligning the program to appropriately address the needs of residents in underserved communities.”

“We encourage everyone to join the thousands of other Connecticut residents who have made their voices heard when it comes to technology access,” said Doug Casey, Executive Director of DAS’ Commission for Educational Technology. “The survey is part of an integrated outreach plan to identify and address the barriers to people using technology in ways that improve their lives. We are also engaging our agency and community partners to map the programs and resources in place across the state that help residents get online, get affordable devices, take advantage of training opportunities, and get technical support — all essential components of ‘digital equity.’”

“The School of Public Policy is pleased to be part of this project that adds value to the residents of the state and to our mission of advancing equity in the state through evidence-based research,” said Dr. Mohamad Alkadry, Policy Director at the UConn School of Public Policy. “It is hard to think of an age group or population that does not need access to a computer and internet service. Internet and device access is critical for economic success and mobility, but unfortunately having computer access and adequate internet service at home is not the reality for all residents of the state.”

“Digital access is a human right,” said East Hartford Mayor Mike Walsh. “It's the right thing to do. Imagine if you didn’t have access to the internet and to apply for a job or check in with a doctor,you had to run to the library. Then you wait a day, then you run back to check your email. That’s crazy. Everybody should have access.

“At the library, we work every day with community members who need our support to access the internet. For full participation in the online world, our library patrons need help signing up with available subsidies for home Internet, access to appropriate devices, and assistance with digital skills,” said Sarah Morgan, Director of East Hartford Public Library. “We are excited by the prospect of a statewide Digital Equity Plan, and eager to promote participation in a survey that will elevate community voices,and address the needs of those Connecticut residents on the wrong side of the digital divide.”

The resident survey will remain open through the end of June and is conducted by the University of Connecticut’s School of Public Policy. DAS encourages community partners to assist in disseminating the survey and can do so using a media toolkit available at and Access the digital equity survey here.

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Contact: Sam Taylor 

Director of Communications

Office of the Lieutenant Governor

(860) 805-1408


Jesse Imse Senior Advisor to the Commissioner Department of Administrative Services (860604-8982