Omaha’s Do Space offers free laptops, mobile internet access
By CINDY GONZALEZ
As part of an effort to promote “digital equity”, Do Space plans to distribute 945 free laptops, hotspot mobile devices and internet access to Omahans who do not have access to these services at home.
Applications are now being accepted for the Tech Pack program, which is supported by federal funds and enables the 72nd and Dodge Streets e-Library to continue advancing its work in the digital equity space, said Angela McGraw, director.
“One of Do Space’s main goals — and one of the reasons it was created — was to bridge the digital divide in Omaha, McGraw said. free to technology in the community for people who need it most.”
Participants in the Tech Pack program, which includes a free Chromebook laptop and portable Wi-Fi hotspot, must be 18 years or older and a Do Space member. Membership is free.
The program provides internet access until June 2023. Participants, whose selection is based on qualifications and application information, are also to receive free technology tutoring and basic computer training courses.
Entrants who meet all requirements may keep their Chromebooks after the program ends, although mobile hotspot devices must be returned.
One of the goals is to meet the remote learning and working needs of Omaha residents, in accordance with program guidelines. The data collected will allow Do Space to create the first digital equity report for the city, raising awareness of local challenges and highlighting successes.
Do Space reports, based on census data, that nearly 13% of Douglas County households do not have broadband Internet access and nearly 8% do not have a computer.
Enrollment in the program ends June 17, but reps said it could be extended if there are laptops left.