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Connected Devices Program Awards Laptops

November 18th, 2023 by WCBC Radio

Governor Wes Moore today announced the award of more than 133,000 laptops to 27 local governments and their partners for distribution to underserved households in communities across Maryland. The $27.2 million investment through the Office of Statewide Broadband’s Connected Devices Program is part of an effort to ensure Marylanders have the technology required to access reliable, high-speed internet.

“These devices are a gateway for Marylanders to be able to apply for jobs, complete schoolwork and connect with vital community resources,” said Gov. Moore. “In partnership with local governments and community organizations, we are connecting underserved households with the tools they need to succeed and to connect with more opportunities.”

The Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development, where the Office of Statewide Broadband is housed, awarded grants to all 27 of the jurisdictions that applied. Requests ranged from 10 to 30,000 devices. Awards were made between two rounds in February 2023 and October 2023. Most jurisdictions also received funding to help pay for the distribution of devices. 

“Through the Office of Statewide Broadband, the Moore-Miller Administration is working to bring high-speed internet to all corners of Maryland,” said Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development Secretary Jake Day. “In addition to our infrastructure improvements that are bringing underserved communities online, the Office and our Department are focused on closing the digital divide.”

The department has partnered with HP, Inc. and Daly Computers to supply nearly 135,000 Chromebooks across the state. The department also partnered with the University of Maryland’s TechExtension, which provides free, one-on-one tech support through their digital navigator program to any Marylander that needs assistance with a device.