A New Program Will Provide Refurbished Tech And Unlimited Internet To Low-Income Central Ohio Students

Thanks to a new program, low-income families will begin receiving computers and internet hotspots next week.

Families of low-income K-12 students can now register to receive refurbished computers and hotspot devices with unlimited internet at low cost for the duration of the school year through the Central Ohio Broadband Access Pilot Program.

The Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission (MORPC), the Educational Service Center of Central Ohio (ESCCO), and PCs for People are teaming up to provide computers and internet access to Central Ohio students on a community-wide scale.

“Many K-12 students lack computers and affordable, high-speed internet service, two of the most critical elements to succeeding in a remote learning environment,” said Aaron Schill, director of data & mapping at MORPC. “Through the incredible support of many community partners, we are able to connect families to the technology resources they urgently need for this school year.”

The registration process is quick and participants can select from several locations like Columbus Metropolitan Library branches and schools to pick up their devices on September 28.

The program will provide students with computers and 12-months of pre-paid, unlimited internet access. Up to 10,000 students will be covered and will receive a refurbished computer, monitor, accessories, and a basic software package at a cost of $20. The internet will be a one-time cost of $20.

“Responding to such a massive, community-wide problem requires true community collaboration and a wide array of stakeholders,” said Bryan Mauk, the PCs for People executive director, Cleveland. “PCs for People is honored to partner with the many organizations and corporations that have come together to systematically address the digital divide and the needs of the community that have been spotlighted by COVID-19.”

The program is funded through private and public funders, as well as funds from the federal CARES Act. For more information about the program, please click here.

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