City of Bloomington once again recognized as Digital Inclusion Trailblazer

BLOOMINGTON – The City of Bloomington has been recognized by the National Digital Inclusion Alliance as a 2022 Digital Inclusion Trailblazer (  First launched in 2016, Digital Inclusion Trailblazers is a public inventory of local government initiatives promoting digital literacy and broadband access for underserved residents.

The City was commended for its continuing efforts to bridge the digital divide, including conducting a scientific survey on broadband equity, developing a Digital Equity Strategic Plan, establishing a Digital Equity Grants Fund for nonprofit organizations, and efforts to make high-speed broadband more available and affordable.

Bloomington Mayor John Hamilton

“We have made digital equity and inclusion priorities and are grateful to be recognized for doing so,” said Mayor Hamilton. “We value all Bloomington residents having the tools to fully participate in their daily lives, our city, and the world. Digital access and literacy are critical tools and we are working to ensure they are widely available.” 

Bloomington’s distinction as a Digital Inclusion Trailblazer was determined by its fulfillment of the following criteria:

  • Your local government has a digital inclusion plan or is in the process of developing a plan.
  • Your local government has conducted or plans to conduct and publish survey research on Internet access and use by your residents.
  • Your local government directly funds community digital inclusion programming.
  • Your local government is taking steps to increase the affordability of home broadband service.

“We are proud to be recognized as a city and community which takes digital equity seriously,” stated Rick Dietz, Information & Technology Services Department Director, “and there is more to come in 2023 through our fiber partnership with Meridiam, and the proposed Digital Equity Fund and Digital Equity Specialist staff member in our 2023 ITS Budget proposal.”

In April 2020, the City of Bloomington conducted a Digital Equity survey assessing how residents use internet services. Sent to a randomized sample of 6,500 Bloomington households, the survey was completed by 1,080 respondents. The survey’s results–available at – helped to inform the City’s Digital Equity Strategic Plan (, released in December 2020.  

The City’s Digital Equity Grants Fund (, now in its third year, has awarded 11 area nonprofits funds to facilitate access to broadband services and computing devices and increase digital literacy. The Digital Equity Grants program was initially funded through a $35,000 investment approved by the Bloomington Common Council in August 2020 as part of a $2 million reallocation of 2019 reversion funds, in the first phase of Mayor Hamilton’s Recover Forward ( strategy. In 2022 it is funded at $50k and is a regular part of the ITS Department budget.

Bloomington is the smallest city recognized as a 2022 Digital Inclusion Trailblazer. The other cities recognized this year are Austin, San Francisco, Boston, Portland, Long Beach, San Antonio, Seattle, Washington, D.C., Louisville, Provo City, Salt Lake City, Detroit, New York City, Kansas City, Baltimore, and Chattanooga.

More information about the City’s activities and investments to promote digital inclusion and equity are available at

About the National Digital Inclusion Alliance (NDIA):
The National Digital Inclusion Alliance is a unified voice for home broadband access, public broadband access, personal devices, and local technology training and support programs. NDIA is a community of digital inclusion practitioners and advocates who work collaboratively to craft, identify, and disseminate financial and operational resources for digital inclusion programs while serving as a bridge to policymakers and the general public. Learn more at: