Thousands of new Chromebook computers are now available for the public to borrow from one of San Diego County’s 33 branch libraries to help bridge the digital divide.
The technology is provided by the TechConnect program, funded by a $4.3 million federal grant from the Emergency Connectivity Fund (EFC), which will help people access the internet. There are a total of 7,000 sets available in the county.
According to county library officials, the program began in June and more than 3,000 have been distributed by branches and through local community organizations.
“This is a great example of how the library creatively responds to serve our community, said County Library Director Migell Acosta. “These resources provide important online access that can support education, healthcare services, employment options and connect them to a myriad of County services.”
County residents with an SDCL library card can check out a Chromebook C204, ATT Moxee Hotspot device, and charging cables free of charge for up to one year at any branch. Customers are also required to sign a form saying they do not have sufficient equipment or services to access the internet, and minors will need a parent or caregiver to complete a form to check out a set.
Visit sdcl.org/techconnect to learn more about the program.
Additional efforts to close the digital divide in the community include a comprehensive broadband plan to help prioritize and guide connectivity solutions in the unincorporated areas, a partnership with Caltrans and SANDAG to underground fiber optic cable along 22 miles of SR 67, and a sponsorship of SANDAG’s GetConnected campaign.