Baltimore County has partnered with the national non-profit organization PCs for People to restore and donate old computers and other equipment.
The county will donate extra or retired tablets, desktop computers, and laptops to individuals and families in need, at low to no cost.
PCs for People will refurbish the equipment, remove the hard drives, and sustainably recycle all non-reusable electronic waste.
“Attainable equipment and access to the internet is a necessity for every household in Baltimore County, and closing the digital divide is a priority for my administration,” said County Executive Johnny Olszewski in a statement. “We are committed to ensuring everyone has the tools they need to be successful and stay connected.”
The initiative is part of Baltimore County’s two- to three-year digital equity plan, which county officials say is, “necessary for civic and cultural participation, employment, lifelong learning and access to essential services.”
County officials said improving affordability, growing digital education, and expanding reliable internet service will promote digital equity and “bridge the digital divide.”
“We believe that everyone deserves access to quality technology at a price they can afford,” said Michael Sherrod, managing director of PCs for People Maryland, in a statement. “We are grateful to begin this partnership with Baltimore County in their commitment to closing the digital divide and ensuring their retired technology is recycled responsibly. We look forward to working together and providing a model for how government entities and businesses can work together to make a difference for Marylanders.”
Last year, Baltimore County and Comcast Cable partnered to expand high speed broadband to underserved rural areas in northwest Baltimore County, which increased internet access to 1,800 new homes.
Additionally, the county has routinely offered free computer education and literacy workshops at senior centers and libraries.
“Advancing digital equity means taking a whole-person approach,” said Michael Fried, director of Baltimore County’s Office of Information Technology, in a statement, “and [accommodating] the device needs of our residents, along with internet access, training and support. We’re excited to work with PCs for People to establish a sustainable model for access to devices for all.”
PCs for People allows for a $30 discount on monthly internet service and a $100 one-time discount on a computer. Individuals that meet the income requirements can shop for computers and internet online. For more information visit PCsforpeople.com.