February 21, 2024

60,000 Free Computers Being Distributed to Low-income Residents

Montgomery Connects to Distribute 60,000 Free Computers

“Montgomery Connects,” Montgomery County’s digital equity and inclusion program, has launched a new program to distribute 60,000 free laptop computers to low-income families. There is a limit of one computer per resident. Eligible recipients must be Maryland residents, do not need to be U.S. citizens and may not have already received a computer from the County before April 2023.

Residents must make an appointment online, certify that they do not have access to a computer, and appear in person to pick up the computer.

Montgomery Connects received a Federal Emergency Connectivity Fund grant valued at $22.7 million to distribute 60,000 Chromebook laptops to people who do not have a computer. Montgomery Connects is operated by the County’s Department of Technology and Enterprise Solutions (TEBS).

"Access to a computer is essential for every person," said County Executive Marc Elrich. "While children may have access to computers through schools, it is equally vital for parents, college students, working individuals, and seniors to have their own computers. It is our responsibility to ensure that everyone in our community has equal opportunities for success in today's digital age."

Appointments to receive a computer can be made at www.montgomerycountymd.gov/computer. Appointments open approximately two weeks in advance of the appointment dates. 

“I've seen from my experience developing digital connector programs that it is a game changer for young people to have their own digital opportunities,” said TEBS Director and County Chief Information Officer Gail M. Roper.

Supplies are expected to run out by May or June, so residents are encouraged to make appointments now.

“We encourage nonprofit organizations and neighbors to pass the word along and to help elderly residents sign up. This may be the last large computer grant the County will receive, so we want everyone who doesn’t have a computer to make an appointment to get one while supplies last,” said Montgomery Connects Program Director Mitsuko R. Herrera. “We also are working to connect residents who receive computers with free technology training resources available from the Montgomery County Public Libraries and SeniorPlanet.org.”

Every person, including children over age 7, must have an appointment to receive a computer. After arranging an appointment to get a computer, eligible residents should bring the following items to their pick-up appointment:
  • Photo identification.
  • Proof of address. If a person is using a Photo ID without an address (such as a passport), they must bring a piece of mail or online bill showing their address.
  • Every person receiving a computer, including children, must appear in person. Appointments are available until 7 p.m. and on many Saturdays.
The program will prioritize Montgomery County residents.

The schedule for upcoming computer distribution events:
  • Tuesday, March 12. 1-5 p.m. Gaithersburg Library, 18330 Montgomery Village Ave, Gaithersburg.
  • Wednesday, March 13. 2-6 p.m. East County Community Center, 3310 Gateshead Manor Way, Silver Spring.
  • Thursday, March 14. 2-6p.m. Aspen Hill Library, 4407 Aspen Hill Rd., Rockville.
Appointments open for registration approximately two weeks prior to event dates. Additional events will be added as locations confirm.

Eligible residents must have an email address to make an appointment online at www.montgomerycountymd.gov/computer. If a resident needs assistance to make an appointment, call the Marylander Online Help Hotline at 301-405-9810, from 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Monday to Friday, or from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. on Saturday. Help is available in English and Spanish and in other languages upon request.