Chairman Genachowski, joined by Ben Hecht, Chairman of Connect2Compete (C2C), Jill Vaske, Executive Vice President of Redemtech, and representatives from LULAC and the Latin American Youth Center in Washington, D.C., announced a nationwide computer donation and recycling call-to-action, called “PC Pledge 100,” to help narrow the digital divide for low-income families across the country. More than 17 million still useable computers are prematurely retired from businesses in the U.S. each year, which could help get millions of Americans online.
I. FCC Chairman, C2C, and Redemtech Announce “PC Pledge 100” Campaign
- C2C and Redemtech launch nationwide “PC Pledge 100” campaign for corporate computer donations to bring surplus computers to low-income Americans that need access to technology to help improve their lives. Companies interested in participating can go to www.redemtech.com/PCPledge.
- Campaign will urge corporations that can donate at least 100 computers to divert surplus PCs from premature retirement so they can be refurbished, installed with Microsoft software, and provided to needy families. Nearly 60% of low-income households do not have a desktop or laptop computer at home. (Department of Commerce, 2011)
- 100 million Americans have not adopted broadband at home and 36% of those without broadband cite the cost of a computer as a major barrier to adoption. (FCC, 2010)
- Businesses replace 40 million PCs a year and only 3% are donated. Nearly 23 million are disposed or placed into storage. (Gartner, 2009)
II. Donating Computers: Helping Americans Get Online and Helping the Environment
- More than 17 million used-but-still-useful corporate PCs go to waste annually due to premature disposal or warehouse shelving. With 75% of these computers four years old or less, they are useful to low-income families, schools, and community organizations that desperately need computers, but can’t afford new technology (Gartner, 2009).
- Redemtech and C2C will partner to refurbish these computers, install new software, and get them in the hands of eligible low-income families.
- Donating computers can also help the environment. The prevention of hazardous materials from prematurely entering the waste stream reduces energy consumption and greenhouse gases.
- By meeting the challenge of the “PC Pledge 100” campaign, corporations that donate 100 computers will save enough electricity to power 68 households for an entire year. (EPA)
- Each PC donated not only can help an American family get online, but can save:
- 26 lbs. of solid waste; (EPA)
- 2,608 kilowatts of energy; (EPA)
- 443 lbs. of CO2 from being emitted. (EPA)
III. Redemtech Pledges 200 Computers to LULAC and 100 More to Digital Literacy Focused Non-Profits to Kick Start PC Pledge 100 Donation Campaign
- Redemtech, a core partner of C2C, is supplying 200 computers to LULAC for its technology training centers to help provide free broadband access and computer-related training to families across the country.
- 100 computers will also be awarded to registered non-profits that provide digital literacy training to low-income groups. Beginning Sept. 1, 2012, organizations can apply for up to four computers. Information on the application process is forthcoming from Redemtech, but interested non-profits can send a tweet to @Redemtech and include the hashtag #PCPledge100 or via email at email@example.com. For more information visit www.redemtech.com/seriousgood.
IV. Redemtech to Supply Low-Cost Computers for Eligible Families
- As part of C2C’s fall launch, Redemtech has committed to offer a refurbished $150 + tax laptop, or desktop with LCD monitor, to eligible school lunch families, shipped to the home. The PC offer includes:
- Minimum specs: Core 2 Duo processor; 2 GB Ram; 80 GB hard drive; DVD player; wireless card
- Leading OS and productivity suite: Windows 7 Professional and MS Office 2007 Home and Student
- Free shipping, 90 days phone PC tech support, one year software tech support, 90 day extendable warranty
- Easy setup: Box will include specially designed setup guide for first time PC users
V. The Broadband Adoption Challenge
- One-third of all Americans – 100 million people – haven’t adopted broadband at home. Broadband adoption is key to America’s competitiveness – to jobs, e-government, education, and energy. Compare that to South Korea and Singapore where adoption rates top 90 percent.
- There is a growing divide between the digital-haves and have-nots.
- Less than one-third of the poorest Americans have adopted broadband, while more than 90% of the richest have adopted. (NTIA, 2011)
- Less than 50% of African Americans, Latinos, elderly and rural populations have adopted broadband. (NTIA, 2011)
- About 46% of low-income families have adopted broadband at home compared with over 90% of higher-income families. (NTIA, 2011)
- Students with a PC and broadband access at home have six to eight percentage point higher graduation rates than similar students who don’t have home access to the Internet.(Federal Reserve Bank, 2008)
- 50% of today’s jobs require technology skills, and this percentage is expected to grow to 77% in the next decade. (IDC Research, 2010)
VI. Connect2Compete (C2C) is a National Nonprofit Organization Working to Improve the Lives of Americans Through the Power of Technology
- In 2011 Chairman Genachowski helped launch Connect2Compete, a public-private initiative to help narrow the digital divide by making high-speed Internet access, computers, education and jobs content, and digital literacy training more accessible for millions of Americans without home connectivity.
- C2C includes more than 40 non-profit and other private sector partners, such as Best Buy, Microsoft, LULAC, the National Urban League, and the Boys & Girls Clubs of America.
- The C2C program includes a nationwide digital literacy effort and $9.95 broadband and $150 computers for eligible free school lunch families. For more information, go to www.connect2compete.org.