Salt Lake City

Information Management Services

349 S 200 E, Suite 200, Salt Lake City, UT 84111

Digital Equity in Salt Lake City

Salt Lake City aims to be a thriving city of opportunity for all residents by promoting policies and investments in resources that serve to establish greater equity, empowerment, and resilience in our community. In today’s digital world, these principles are strongly influenced by people’s access to and skill in using modern technology.

Technology shapes how we communicate, work, participate in our communities, stay healthy, learn, and enjoy entertainment. As opportunities created by technology increase, so do inequities for those who do not have access to the technologies, tools and skills needed to participate in the increasingly digital world. The National Digital Inclusion Alliance Definitions defines the digital divide as: the gap between those who have affordable access, skills, and support to effectively engage online and those who do not. As technology constantly evolves, the digital divide prevents equal participation and opportunity in all parts of life, disproportionately affecting people of color, Indigenous peoples, households with low incomes, people with disabilities, people in rural areas, and older adults.

The digital divide is not only a nationwide issue but also a global one, and it’s evident even in Salt Lake City. Therefore, as a City we must be proactive in supporting community members with gaining the knowledge and skills to navigate technology and accessing the internet. Through the City own efforts and in close collaboration with community organizations we aim to activity address the digital divide.

Digital Equity Policy

Salt Lake City’s Digital Equity Policy was adopted on September 1, 2020 to address the imbalances related to digital equity. The Salt Lake City Innovation Team manages the Mayor’s Digital Equity initiatives.

SLC defines Digital Equity as: Providing reasonable resources to ensure that all individuals and communities, including the most disadvantaged, have access to and use of information and communication technologies. This includes five elements:

  1. Affordable, robust broadband internet service
  2. Internet-enabled devices that meet the needs of the user
  3. Access to digital literacy training
  4. Quality technical support
  5. Applications and online content designed to enable and encourage self-sufficiency, participation, and collaboration.

Digital equity work must evolve as technology advances and communities’ change. Digital equity requires intentional strategies and investments to reduce and eliminate historical, institutional, and structural barriers to access and use technology.

Goals & Targeted Action Strategy

Relevant Content & Services, Hardware, Digital Literacy

  • Increase usage and understanding of digital and communications technology
  • Address potential barriers to digital inclusion
  • Address the need for digital literacy training
  • Address the need for access via reliable and affordable devices
  • Address the need for language & disability accommodations
  • Develop relevancy and advocacy campaigns within specific communities and populations

Engage and Include the Community

  • Ongoing stakeholder engagement
  • Local government involvement and leadership
  • Develop an interactive community dashboard or website to access information from the community and city government

Build Digital Equity and Community

Collaboration with partners, city leaders, community members, and organizations such as: nonprofits, entrepreneurs, education, public safety, libraries, and healthcare to ensure access and foster opportunities for all citizens to be fully engaged in a digital society.

Salt Lake City is taking an active role in increasing digital equity through public policy, programming, and partnership.

City Connect

Salt Lake City is doing this through a program known as City Connect which activates public wifi hotspots in community centers and parks throughout the City and providing surplus computers to low-income students and families. Additionally, through a public-private partnership with Comcast “Lift Zones”, Salt Lak City is able to bring high quality broadband service to our community learning centers and facilities supporting our Youth and Family programs. These Lift Zones have been activated in community organizations throughout the City and also provide a safe physical location for students to study. The program also provides hundreds of hours of digital skills content to help families navigate online learning.

Check out our City Connect page for a map of where to access free Wi-Fi hotspots.

SLC Computers for the Community Program

This program seeks to bridge the technology gap in underserved communities, increase digital literacy, improve student achievement, and reduce the City’s electronic waste output by donating the City’s surplus computers to the community.

Check out the SLC Computers for the Community Program page and for information on how to apply.

Electronic Recycling

Electronic waste, or e-waste, contains toxic compounds such as lead and mercury, and therefore should not be disposed of in your regular garbage containers. Salt Lake City’s Call 2 Haul Program will responsibility recycle old electronics.

For more information on Call 2 Haul click here.

Community & Digital Resources

A list of resources to help SLC families get and stay connected can be found here.

National Digital Inclusion Alliance

National League of Cities

Census Bureau

Salt Lake City