Free Chromebooks: How One US State is Providing Over 100,000 Devices to the Public

Governor Wes Moore of Maryland has announced a major investment of $27.2 million to provide over 100,000 free Chromebooks to underserved households in the state. The devices are part of the Office of Statewide Broadband’s Connected Devices Program for Marylanders, and are being distributed in partnership with HP and Daly Computers.

These Chromebooks are being awarded to 27 local governments, who will then distribute them to communities in need. The goal of this initiative is to provide accessible, reliable technology alongside high-speed internet to underserved households, enabling them to apply for jobs, complete schoolwork, and connect with vital community resources.

The partnership with HP and Daly Computers has made it possible to give away at least 135,000 Chromebooks throughout Maryland, with some communities receiving as few as 10 devices and others receiving up to 30,000. These devices also come with free tech support through a digital navigator program, which was co-developed with the University of Maryland’s TechExtension.

In addition to the Chromebook distribution, the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development has promised to bring high-speed internet to all corners of the state. Governor Moore emphasized the importance of these initiatives, stating that they are essential for connecting underserved households with the tools they need to succeed and to access more opportunities.

Secretary Jake Day of the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development highlighted the focus on closing the digital divide, in addition to the infrastructure improvements that are bringing underserved communities online.

By providing free Chromebooks and promising to bring high-speed internet access to all parts of the state, Maryland is making significant strides towards bridging the digital divide and providing equal opportunities for all its residents. These efforts will not only benefit individuals and families in need, but also contribute to the overall growth and development of the state.

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