Baltimore City is distributing 3,000 free Chromebooks to eligible low-income Baltimore City households.
“Closing the digital divide is one of the most important steps our community must take to improve equity in our city,” said Mayor Brandon M. Scott. “So much of the battle in addressing this issue is access and affordability, and with these 30,000 Chromebooks, our city is poised to help tackle both for so many families. With this technology, we can help these families be better connected and ensure students are gaining the skills they’ll need to be successful in the digital age. I cannot thank our partners enough for their collaboration in this effort and their dedication to closing Baltimore’s digital divide for good.”
Funding for Chromebooks comes from a grant through the State of Maryland’s Connected Devices program, which is overseen by Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) and assists counties and municipal governments in their digital equity and inclusion efforts.
“Across the state, there are hundreds of thousands of Marylanders whose entire economic future will be either limited – or unlocked – by whether or not they have access to affordable internet,” said Maryland DHCD Secretary Jake Day. “The Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development is proud to work with Baltimore City and Pratt Library to distribute 30,000 devices to get more Marylanders online – a crucial step in our work to close the digital divide.”
For the distribution, Baltimore City Information and Technology’s (BCIT) Office of Broadband and Digital Equity (BDE) has partnered with Enoch Pratt Free Library to serve as its primary distribution partner. The Pratt Library will assist residents in verifying their eligibility and schedule a pickup appointment. More distribution locations are expected to be added in the coming months.
“We are proud to be working with our state and city partners to make sure these devices get into the hands of the people who need them the most. But we know that providing access is not enough. That is why the Pratt Library also provides free technology training and support for customers across Baltimore City to help people meet their goals,” said Pratt Library President and CEO Heidi Daniel.