Providing Computers & Localized Solutions to Help Narrow the Digital Divide

AT&T Blog Team
April 5, 2022
Broadband Access and Affordability

Providing Computers & Localized Solutions to Help Narrow the Digital Divide

We believe all Americans should be connected. Today, millions of students across the country are in the digital divide. Three often-overlapping issues – access, adoption and affordability – contribute to this digital divide.

One particularly persistent barrier to connection for students and communities is a lack of computers. Sadly, these students often fall behind in the classroom creating a growing “homework gap.”

As part of AT&T’s $2 billion, 3-year commitment created in 2021 to help close the digital divide, we’re collaborating with organizations who share our desire to foster digital inclusion across the country. Working with these groups, we’re getting devices, including laptops, in the hands of students.

We’re launching more than 20 AT&T Connected Learning Centers across the country which will help connect underserved students and families with digital skills, resources – including our recently launched digital learning platform, The Achievery – and opportunities for success. As part of that effort:

  • Dell Technologies is donating Dell Optiplex computers and Dell monitors featuring integrated audio and webcams to support virtual learning in each center.
  • Overland-Tandberg, a black-owned, leading global technology and IT services corporation, is working to properly equip the centers with the tools and connection required for students and families to succeed.

Different communities face different obstacles when it comes to connectivity. That’s why we’re also engaging with local organizations and nonprofits to better understand and meet the unique needs of communities. By using local feedback to guide our work, we can help communities connect to more:

  • Digitunity: We joined with Digitunity, an organization committed to closing the digital divide, to distribute 20,000 free and low-cost computers to underserved K-12 students. Eleven nonprofits from Digitunity’s Alliance for Technology Refurbishing and Reuse will ensure effective distribution of computers and help provide these families with tech support, in ten cities.
  • human-I-T: AT&T has worked with human-I-T, one of largest nonprofit device refurbishers in the country, to distribute over 3,000 free computers to multiple organizations serving students and families across the country.
  • Southern Dallas Thrives: We are contributing $1 million to United Way of Metropolitan Dallas (UWMD) to support Southern Dallas Thrives, through which more than 2,000 refurbished laptops, as well as digital literacy workshops and technology support, will be provided to K-12 students, young adults, and families across southern Dallas.
  • PCs for People: AT&T is working with PCs for People-Maryland, a Baltimore based nonprofit, to offer digital inclusion services and distribute 3,800 refurbished devices to K-12 students and families.

Devices don’t just connect people to the internet, they connect people to opportunities. By delivering the tools needed to connect, we can help bridge the digital divide in communities today to help deliver a better tomorrow.