Central Ohio Broadband Access Pilot Program

    As schools begin the 2020-2021 year with remote learning or hybrid models, the Central Ohio Broadband Access Pilot Program is providing low-income, K-12 students and their families with low-cost internet access.

    The lack of a reliable and affordable internet connection and device to access the internet makes remote learning impossible and causes more students to fall behind. This program seeks to address the inequities that exist from community to community.

    The program will provide 10,000 refurbished computers and 10,000 hotspot devices for families to set up an internet signal using cell phone signals. No new infrastructure or professional installation required.

    Registration

    Families can register online through the PCs for People website in just a few easy steps at www.pcsforpeople.org/ohio. Then they will be able to pick up their device(s) at convenient locations such as libraries and schools.

    Device Details and Fees

    PCs for People is also offering a package that includes a refurbished computer, monitor, accessories, and basic software package.

    After being subsidized through the program, the cost of the computers for income-qualified households will be $20. 

    Likewise, the cost for internet service (hotspot and device) will be $20 – a one-time up-front cost for the year.

    Limited financial aid is available.

    Technical Help

    Columbus Metropolitan Library staff members are skilled in providing training to customers on a variety of technologies and software: Microsoft products, eReaders, tablets and PCs.

    CML locations are easily accessible and available to citizens throughout Franklin County in 23 locations serving 10 school districts — and open extensive hours throughout the week.

    CML expects to deliver this training:

    • In-person training in designated learning labs at all CML locations.
    • Adding tutorials about PCs and broadband devices to the CML library of video tutorials. These are available to families on a variety of topics and created by CML staff to meet community need.
    • CML operates a 7-day-a-week Call Center (includes live chat) and trained staff routinely answer a wide variety of technology questions. CML is prepared to expand support to address the need driven by this project.
    • CML uses a screen-share software (Net Solutions) to allow for social distancing while providing hands-on help. This tool allows problem solving in live time.
    • Some Franklin County school districts have announced that this school year all students will receive their own Chrome Book (versus one per family); CML can provide parent/child training specifically designed to connect Chrome Books to broadband devices while addressing both parent and child needs.
    Outreach Toolkit

    Flyers/Fact Sheets

    Information Sheet for Students and Families (PDF)

    Information Sheet for Community Organizations (PDF)

    Information Sheet for Businesses (PDF)

    Social Media 

    The following text and graphics can be used to engage families in the program:

    Don’t let our kids fall behind because of COVID-19. Thanks to a local partnership program, the families of Central Ohio school students can receive a computer and internet access at low cost. Get connected at pcsforpeople.org/ohio. And help spread the word!

    The following text and graphics can be used to engage businesses and organizations in the program:

    Thanks to a local partnership program, the families of Central Ohio school students can receive a computer and internet access at low cost. Businesses and organizations can help by providing financial assistance and donating computers. Find out more at www.morpc.org/broadband.

    Newsletter Content

    Public Service Announcements

     

    Partners & Funders

    Program Partners:

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Funders:

    City of Columbus
    Franklin County Commissioners
    American Electric Power
    Battelle
    Cardinal Health
    CAS
    Chase Foundation
    Columbus Chamber
    Heartland Bank
    WCMH NBC 4
    Worthington Industries

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