Digital Inclusion and Connected Communities
Why does this matter?
Even though most households in Long Beach have access to computers and Internet subscriptions, some communities do not. Specifically, households of color, older adults, and low-income households lack home internet and PC access. A connected Long Beach resident can apply for a job, open a business, pay their utility bill online, or check when the bus will arrive with ease.
What we’re doing?
We believe that digital inclusion is a fundamental ingredient in a successful smart city. The City launched its Digital Inclusion Initiative in 2017, which employs an equity lens to ensure that everyone has access to digital literacy training, the Internet, and technology devices. Strategies include building community leadership capacity, multilingual digital literacy training, expanding free City wi-fi, and providing low-cost, quality, Internet-enabled technology devices directly to residents.
The City is also preparing for the next evolution of high-speed internet. Our Master Fiber Plan calls for Citywide facilities to be connected through fiber optic cable, not only improving the City’s resiliency in case of disaster but facilitating community access to broadband.
Some of our recent work:
- We launched community learning hubs for kindergarten to eighth grade Long Beach Unified School District (LBUSD) students. The free hubs will provide a safe space with high-speed internet for students to complete distance learning assignments during the school day
- The Long Beach Digital Inclusion Initiative aims to proactively ensure everyone has equitable access and use of digital literacy training, the Internet, technology devices and other digital resources
- Our Master Fiber Plan will expand the City's municipal fiber optic cable network
- The Uplink Corridor along Atlantic Ave provides free public wi-fi to residents in North Long Beach
- The Harvey Milk Promenade Park and Equality Plaza in Downtown Long Beach features an augmented reality history exhibit and free public wi-fi
- We partner with telecommunications companies for small cell permits
- We have deployed automated metering infrastructure for water and gas utilities