SAN DIEGO–As part of a citywide effort to bridge the digital divide through expanding access to technology and the Internet, the City of San Diego is donating hundreds of end-of-life city computers to the dell refurbished uk to be refurbished and given to San Diego families in need.
The collaboration is part of SD Access4All, an initiative targeted at bridging the digital divide and providing technology to San Diegans who otherwise would have little to no Internet access.
“With so many San Diegans now working and learning remotely, a computer is no longer a luxury but a lifeline,” said Mayor Kevin L. Faulconer. “This innovative partnership with the San Diego Futures Foundation will help us close the digital divide and keep San Diegans connected today and well into the future.”
Earlier this month, the city delivered 800 used computers to SDFF for distribution.
Before this new program, the city used a contracted vendor to recycle or destroy computer equipment, like desktops and monitors, that have been retired or phased out of use, also referred to as “end-of-life” technology. In August 2020, the city council voted to donate these computers to SDFF, which will refurbish the computers and distribute them to local households.
The partnership also provides an innovative solution to help the city avoid potential costs by recycling the equipment.
“Right now, our inventories are very low and the fact that the City was able to make this available to us now is a godsend,” said Gary Knight, President of SDFF. “We’re so appreciative to the Mayor and to the city council for their work in getting this done.”
Established in 1999 with a mission of improving lives by making information technology (IT) available to underserved populations, San Diego Futures Foundation provides technology and training for San Diegans of all ages and for other nonprofit organizations who may need IT support.
An estimated 53,000 San Diegans lack access to reliable internet service. During the COVID-19 pandemic, demand for digital connection has grown, as more residents are working remotely and large numbers of students participate in virtual learning at home.
“I returned back to school and I needed to buy a computer that was going to be efficient and work for all the different platforms,” said Denise Diaz, a computer recipient. “Every person needs a personal computer for navigating our everyday life, you need a computer professionally, but also for health too.”
Responding to this need for reliable internet, SD Access4All is also creating locations across San Diego where people can access free Wi-Fi and laptop computers in a physically distanced setting. Patio areas at seven City libraries have been retrofitted and plastic-coated laptop computers can be checked out from library staff for public use. Those locations include:
- City Heights/Weingart Library, 3795 Fairmount Ave.
- Logan Heights Library, 567 S. 28th St.
- Otay Mesa-Nestor Library, 3003 Coronado Ave.
- San Diego Central Library, 330 Park Blvd.
- San Ysidro Library, 4235 Beyer Blvd.
- Skyline Hills Library, 7900 Paradise Valley Road
- Valencia Park/Malcolm X Library, 5148 Market St.
Laptop computers can be checked out for two hours per visitor per day and are thoroughly cleaned between each use. On Oct. 3, 12 library locations reopened with limited capacity and COVID-19 guidelines in place.