OCT staff is helping to lead the City's efforts to coordinate local resources and actions to help close the digital divide for low-income Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) communities, individuals with disabilities, and seniors.
Technology Kit Pilot
In March, the City received a donation of 200 Chromebooks from CTL, a Chrome device distributor headquartered in Beaverton, OR.
In response to the critical need to get devices into the hands of low-income students, who were faced with unplanned distance learning and no access to devices, the City deployed 100 Chromebooks to Reynolds School District. As a result, the school district was able to quickly deploy the devices to students in need.
The remaining 100 Chromebooks were deployed into the community through a Technology Kit Pilot (Pilot) project. Through the Pilot, the City established partnerships with community based organizations working with low-income, disconnected residents to deploy the Chromebooks. As a matching contribution to CTL's donation, the City, through OCT's operating budget, dedicated funds to pay the Internet service cost for eligible residents that received the free Chromebooks for a year. The subsidized Internet service offer was provided through a sponsored service agreement between the City of Portland, Office for Community Technology and Comcast for Comcast's Internet Essential service.
CARES Act Resources
On July 22, 2020 the City of Portland allocated $3.5 million in CARES Act funding to support expanding the services provided under the Technology Kit Pilot to reach at least 3500 low-income residents.