Computers in the Home

Because sometimes mobile devices won’t cut it.

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low-cost refurbished PCs sold

computers to nonprofits

computers to individuals

cost of refurbished PC

Opportunity

It may seem obvious, but one of the main barriers to bridging the digital divide is lack of access to computers at home. Though many low-income families attempt to get by with smartphones or tablets, mobile devices are simply not adequate for tackling crucial online tasks, such as filing job applications, updating resumes, or doing homework. Additionally, while many public computer access points are available at public libraries and schools, these facilities can’t be open around the clock. When their doors close, so too does access.

Solution

We want to put a computer in every home in Kansas City. There are several organizations currently providing low-cost, repurposed computers in the metro area, including Connecting for Good, ArtsTech, and Surplus Exchange. At the present time, these suppliers are meeting the demand for repurposed computers; though that may not be the case if demand increases as expected due to expanded training. For programs to succeed, it is crucial to support dedicated staff time to monitoring supply and demand of low-cost refurbished hardware, and be prepared to ramp up solicitation of additional equipment to meet demand if needed. The hardware itself can actually be a revenue generator for organizations that supply it so long as the supply is maintained. Households who see the value of computers and connectivity can generally make room in the budget for $50-75 for a computer. If all households projected in the target areas of the Digital Inclusion Plan qualify and purchase a low-cost computer, an additional 3,500 households will have computers at home, more than doubling the current number of households with computers.    

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