Digital Equity Means… Digital skills classes in Spanish!

Equidad digital significa...¡Clases de habilidades digitales en español! With a committment to digital equity, Mano en Mano, Sunrise County Economic Council, and the National Digital Equity Center have partnered to bring free digital skills classes to Spanish-speaking...
Elaine Abbott


Please contact Elaine Abbott, Regional Broadband Coordinator

Elaine can assist Washington County communities at no cost with:

  • community-wide surveys
  • development of working groups
  • financial and economic trainings
  • facilitation of discussions between community members, local officials, and internet service providers

You can reach Elaine at 207 255-0983 or

Fiber Connectivity Coming to Northern Washington County

Fiber Connectivity Coming to Northern Washington County

Maine Connectivity Authority Awards Funding to build fiber in Vanceboro, Lambert Lake, Waite, Talmadge, Topsfield and Kossuth. Fidium Fiber (CCI) has been awarded $1.29M to bring fiber to the Washington County communities of Vanceboro, Lambert Lake, Waite, Talmadge,...

Get to know the Affordable Connectivity Program

Get to know the Affordable Connectivity Program

You may be eligible for a discount on your monthly internet service through the federalAffordable Connectivity Program (ACP). What is the ACP?The Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) provides a discount of up to $30 per month off your internet bill and up to $75 per...

Youth Retention in Maine Survey

Youth Retention in Maine Survey

Can fast, reliable and affordable internet keep our youth and young adults from leaving Washington County? Retaining younger populations to live, work, and raise their families in Washington County is critical; they are our future workforce and our future leaders....

The digital divide is the obstacle, digital inclusion is the work, and digital equity is the goal for Washington County – and for Maine.



Benefits are expected to run out at the end of April/Early May 

ACP enrollment came to an end on February 7, 2024.

The Affordable Connectivity Program was an FCC benefit program that helped ensure that households can afford the broadband they need for work, school, healthcare and more. The benefit provided a discount of up to $30 per month toward internet service for eligible households and up to $75 per month for households on qualifying Tribal lands. 


Washington County Digital Equity Coalition

Sunrise County Economic Council is a partner in the Regional & Tribal Broadband Partners Program (RTBP). The RTBP helps to deploy, sustain, and maximize the benefits of broadband infrastructure investment in all state regions, build and lead digital inclusion efforts in each of their regions and tribal communities while also providing support for community and regional-scale broadband infrastructure solutions and investments.

Regional & Tribal Broadband Partners receive funding and support provided by the Maine Connectivity Authority (MCA) in partnership with the Maine Broadband Coalition (MBC) and the National Digital Equity Center (NDEC).

SCEC, along with 17 other stakeholders and institutions from every corner of Washington County have developed the Washington County Digital Equity Coalition. Coalition partners have a passion for digital equity and have drafted a digital equity plan that continues to grow.

Click here for a complete list of partners
  • Beth C Wright Cancer Resource Center
  • Cobscook Institute
  • Downeast Broadband Utility
  • Downeast Community Partners
  • Four Directions Development Corporation
  • Greater East Grand Economic Council
  • Healthy Acadia
  • Lived Expert, John S
  • Lived Expert Rose S
  • Machias Savings Bank
  • Maine Seacoast Mission
  • Mano en Mano
  • MSAD #37
  • Peavey Memorial Library
  • Shead High School
  • Sunrise County Economic Council
  • The Passamaquoddy Tribe at Indian Township
  • Washington County Adult and Community Education
What is Digital Equity?

Digital equity is commonly referred to as a condition in which all individuals and communities have the information technology capacity needed for full participation in our society, democracy, and economy. Digital equity is necessary for civic and cultural participation, employment, lifelong learning, and access to essential services. View the Digital Equity Snapshot for Washington County.

What is Digital Inclusion?

The National Digital Inclusion Alliance (NDIA) states:  Digital Inclusion refers to the activities necessary to ensure that all individuals and communities, including the most disadvantaged, have access to and use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs). 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/skills training;
  4. Quality technical support; and
  5. Applications and online content designed to enable and encourage self-sufficiency, participation, and collaboration.

Digital Inclusion must evolve as technology advances. Digital Inclusion requires intentional strategies and investments to reduce and eliminate historical, institutional, and structural barriers to access and use technology.

What are Digital Skills?

The National Digital Inclusion Alliance recommends the definition from the “Digital Skills Framework,” updated in April 2019 by the Department for Education of the UK government.

Adults will need to have the following foundation skills which underpin all essential digital skills:

With Digital Foundation Skills, I can:

  • Turn on a device
  • Use the available controls on my device
  • Make use of accessibility tools on my device to make it easier to use
  • Interact with the home screen on my device
  • Understand that the internet allows me to access information and content and that I can connect to it through Wi-Fi (or any internet connection)
  • Connect my device to a safe and secure Wi-Fi network (or any internet connection)
  • Connect to the internet and open a browser to find and use websites
  • Understand that my passwords and personal information need to be kept safely as they have value to others
  • Update and change my password when prompted to do so
How can I Gain Digital Skills for Free?

The National Digital Equity Center offers more than 40 free classes to all Maine residents regardless of income.  Classes are designed around three curricula:  work and business, home and education, and aging well with technology.


Sign Up for Washington County...Connected!

Planning and Funding Resources

Maine Connectivity Authority – Quasi-governmental agency charged with achieving universal broadband access and digital equity to all Mainers.

ReConnect Loan and Grant Program, USDA

Maine Broadband Coalition – Promotes universal broadband access and digital equity through policy and educational engagement.

What Works Solutions Library – Ideas for educating the broader community, strategies for working with service providers, and opportunities for funding broadband projects.

Let’s Explore Solutions in Your Community

At no cost to your community, SCEC will assist with the development of community-wide surveys, development of working groups, financial and economic trainings, conferences, and the facilitation of discussions between community members, local officials, and internet service providers. SCEC will help communities to identify and secure state and federal funding for broadband planning and implementation.

Skip to content