FCC Hopes to Improve U.S. Digital Literacy with Corporate Computer Donations

Computer Donations
According to the FCC, more than 17 million still-useable computers are prematurely retired from businesses in the U.S. each year. These computers could help millions of Americans get online and interacting with small business websites hosted on cheap hosting platforms, including e-commerce applications.

This has prompted the FCC to kick-start “PC Pledge 100” requesting corporate computer donations to bring them to low-income Americans who need access to technology to help improve their lives. See the press conference below.

PC Pledge 100 is part of a broader goal to promote digital literacy in the United States and ensure Americans get maximum access to growing Internet bandwidth pools across North America.
The FCC is hoping many corporations will be able to donate at least 100 computers and divert surplus PCs from premature retirement so they can be refurbished with Microsoft software for needy families.
According to the FCC at least 60% of low-income households have a desktop or laptop computer at home. Curiously, the initiative doesn’t seem to comment or take into account the massive explosion of mobile devices with Internet access –or the fact that by 2013 web access by a Smartphone is set to exceed that of a laptop or desktop.
“One-third of all Americans – 100 million people – haven’t adopted broadband at home. Broadband adoption is key to America’s competitiveness – to jobs, e-government, education, and energy. Compare that to South Korea and Singapore where adoption rates top 90 percent,” said the FCC.
Other important benefits stem from greater broadband access, said the FCC, including:

  • Students with a PC and broadband access at home have six to eight percentage point higher graduation rates than similar students who don’t have home access to the Internet. (Federal Reserve Bank, 2008)
  • 50% of today’s jobs require technology skills, and this percentage is expected to grow to 77% in the next decade.

Donate Computers Companies interested in participating in the PC Pledge 100 can go to http://www.redemtech.com/seriousgood/pc-donation-pledge.aspx or click the box to the right.
WestHost has also been active in student digital literacy campaigns by offering college students free web hosting under their Webucation program. WestHost launched the new program as part of its ongoing effort to help future small business owners prepare themselves for global competition from countries such as China and India.