Montgomery Co. offers free computers, Internet discounts for low-income residents

There’s good news for Montgomery County residents without Internet service or access to computers.

Montgomery County is offering free computers and up to $45 per month off home or mobile Internet for some low-income residents.

The program, offered right before the start of the new school year, will kick off with a distribution of the new Maryland Connected Device Chromebook laptop computers from noon to 4 p.m. on Wednesday at the Germantown American Job Center.

The next events are:

  • Friday, Aug. 18, in Rockville
  • Saturday, Aug. 19, in Silver Spring
  • Tuesday, Aug. 22, in Germantown
  • Wednesday, Aug. 23, through Saturday, Aug. 26, at various locations in Silver Spring

Find details on the locations and times and make an appointment online.

There’s a total of 4,000 computers available through the program.

“Bridging the digital divide is critical to our equity efforts,” said Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich. “Everyone must access this technology and it is imperative that we make sure that cost is not a barrier for families who need these tools.”

Families are limited to one Chromebook per household and only one per address, according to the program.

“Every family needs a computer and internet in order for students to succeed in school,” Elrich said.

The qualifications to get Internet or free computers through the program include the following:

  • The parent or child must be enrolled in a benefit program, such as free school lunch, SNAP food benefits, Medicaid (not regular Medicare), WIC, SSI (not regular Social Security), Pell Grants for college students or Housing Choice Vouchers or Project-Based Rental Assistance.
  • The household must be enrolled in the Affordable Connectivity or Lifeline internet or telephone discount programs.
  • The household must earn less than 200% of the Federal poverty rate ($29,160 for a one-person household, $39,440 for a two-person household, $49,720 for a three-person household, $60,000 for a four-person household — and $10,280 for each additional person in the household).

“We know that all school children need internet at home for homework and parents need robust home internet for work, daily life, and to stay connected,” said Gail M. Roper, the director of TEBS and the County’s chief information officer. “But of the estimated 114,000 Montgomery County households that are eligible to have ACP cover all the costs of their home or mobile internet, just under 20,000 have enrolled in the ACP internet discount program.”

Find details on how to apply and what to bring on the Montgomery County program website.

Valerie Bonk

Valerie Bonk started working at WTOP in 2016 and has lived in Howard County, Maryland, her entire life. She's thrilled to be a reporter for WTOP telling stories on air. She works as both a television and radio reporter in the Maryland and D.C. areas. 

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