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The City of Portland, Oregon

Office for Community Technology

Broadband & Communications Policy, Cable Regulation & Consumer Protection and Utility Franchises, Licenses & Wireless

Phone: 503-823-5385

111 SW Columbia St, Suite 600, Portland, OR 97201

More Contact Info

COVID-19 Digital Inclusion Network Response Efforts

When public health requires social distancing and even quarantine, closing the digital divide becomes central to our safety and economic security. The Digital Inclusion Network (DIN) has been collaboratively working under the Digital Equity Action Plan framework to overcome barriers faced by under-served populations to affordable, high-speed Internet access, owning a device, and to building confidence to use these tools effectively and safely. As a result of COVID-19 many DIN members are having to shift, re-prioritize, and innovate new ways to serve. As a result, DIN members expressed a desire to be able to share with each other, and the broader community, the efforts undertaken, the ideas brewing, and the needs/challenges they are facing. To quickly respond to this request we have developed an "Action Tracker" and "Resource Document" for DIN members to begin sharing their activities and needs and for us to provide updates on policies, programs, and services that have come online in response to the health crisis. 

DIN Action Tracker and Resource document

The Action Tracker is our short term response to tracking digital equity needs and actions and we envision this pilot Digital Inclusion Dashboard, which uses GIS maps of digital inclusion conditions and DIN/DEAP actions, as our longer term solution to tracking impact, ensuring our actions are leading with race, identifying gaps in service and who we are serving, and using the information to evolve, enhance, and re-direct actions and policy to lead with racial equity. If you'd like to learn more, get involved in the dashboard project design and give feedback, help populate with data and measurable goals, please contact us at digitalequity@portlandoregon.gov.

Where to Find Low-Cost/Free/Loaned Computers

Free Geek (Free or Low-Cost)

March 2020: While closed to the public, Free Geek is still producing laptops and desktops and working with organizations as well as online with individuals to get free or low-cost devices distributed. Go here to find out about low-cost devices. Contact Adelle Pomeroy at 503-232-9350 x 116 or adelle.pomeroy@freegeek.org to learn about free devices. 

Portland Public Schools (Loan)

Portland Public Schools (PPS) is loaning computers or tablets to PPS students who need them. If you know of a PPS student in need, please fill out this form.

Comcast (Low-Cost)

Internet Essentials subscribers can purchase a refurbished desktop or laptop computer for $149.99+tax (offer includes Microsoft Office, Norton Security Suite & 90-day warranty) (computer specs: https://www.internetessentials.com/low-cost-computer)

Portland Youth Builders (Low-Cost)

Portland YouthBuilders (PYB) students rebuild desktop computers to offer to the local nonprofit community. Students also teach and mentor elders in the community in a basic computer skills course series. Contact PYB at 503-286-9350

Comcast Internet service for low-income households

Internet Essentials logoComcast Internet Essentials

APRIL 2020: Comcast announced that new Internet Essentials applicants who have any outstanding bill to Comcast are now eligible for the program. Comcast is offering an extension of its current amnesty program through JUNE 30 to all new Internet Essentials customers. Comcast has historically offered amnesty to new Internet Essentials customers with debt older than one year.

MARCH 2020: Comcast announced changes to its Internet Essentials program to support low-income households as the nation copes with the COVID-19 pandemic. The changes provide for:

  • Speed increase from 15/2 MBPS to 25/3 MBPS for all new and existing customers, and will become the speed of the service going forward.
  • 60 days of free internet service for new Internet Essentials customers who sign up by JUNE 30

COST: $9.95/month+tax

PROGRAM HIGHLIGHTS:

ELIGIBILITY:

August 2019: Comcast opened eligibility to ALL qualified low-income households. Qualified low-income households includes those that receive public assistance programs such as the National School Lunch Program, Housing Assistance, Medicaid, SNAP, SSI and others.

(if your child’s school has a least 40% of the student population qualifying for NSLP, then every student at the school, regardless of NSLP is eligible.) 

AND

Normally applicants must have no outstanding debt to Comcast that is less than a year old. APRIL 2020 Comcast announced it is offering an extension of its current amnesty program through JUNE 30 to all new Internet Essentials customers.

Comcast has historically offered amnesty to new Internet Essentials customers with debt older than one year.

AND

Live in an area where Comcast Internet service is available but have not subscribed to it within the last 90 days.

[Even if you have XFINITY TV and/or XFINITY Voice already but not internet service, if you meet the eligibility criteria above, you are eligible for Internet Essentials.]

APPLY:

Start an application through the Online Application Tool at https://apply.internetessentials.com/ (English) or https://aplicar.internetessentials.com/ (Spanish)

OR

Call 1-855-8-INTERNET (1-855-846-8376) to confirm eligibility and apply


NEED PRINTABLE INFO to share with residents? Check out these FLYERS provided by Comcast in multiple languages.