American Rescue Plan delivers computers and laptops for schools, libraries, nonprofits

President Joe Biden speaking at the Philadelphia Labor Day Rally on Sept. 4, 2023. (Photo: Sean Kitchen)

By Sean Kitchen

March 4, 2024

President Joe Biden’s American Rescue Plan continues to deliver for Pennsylvanians. 12,000 residents annually will be eligible for computer devices thanks to $20 million in funding.

Up to 12,000 Pennsylvanians annually will be receiving laptops, personal computers, tablets and wi-fi devices thanks to President Joe Biden’s American Rescue Plan.

US Sen. Bob Casey announced last week that Pennsylvania will receive $20 million from the Capital Projects Fund, which was created under the ARP, to help residents obtain access to digital devices.

“As our world becomes more digital, closing the digital divide in our communities is more important than ever. Pennsylvania’s economic future depends on reliable high-speed internet access for every community—rural, urban, and everything in between,” Casey said in a statement.

“This funding won’t just provide more laptops and wi-fi devices to people who need them, it will help break down the barrier that’s keeping a young mother from a higher education, a small business from reaching a new market, and a grandparent from staying in touch with their grandkids.”

The Capital Projects Fund was created with $10 billion in funding from the American Rescue Plan for states and tribal governments to carry out projects that enable work, education and health monitoring.

According to the Capital Projects Fund, Pennsylvania’s state plan will support $20 million from the Digital Access Opportunity Grant to increase access to computers and other devices to Pennsylvania residents through partnerships with “community anchor institutions,” which include schools, libraries, municipalities, workforce/training organizations and nonprofits.

The project will be administered through the Pennsylvania Broadband Development Authority and these devices will be available for use in homes or public spaces, such as schools or libraries, via loan programs from the community anchor institution.

Pennsylvania received $200 million in funding from the Capital Projects Fund and the American Rescue Plan last April to expand high-speed internet access for more than 44,000 homes and businesses in rural communities, and the commonwealth has received over $2 billion in funding for broadband expansion from the federal government over the past two years with $1.16 billion coming from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law for broadband expansion.

Author

  • Sean Kitchen

    Sean Kitchen is the Keystone’s political correspondent, based in Harrisburg. Sean is originally from Philadelphia and spent five years working as a writer and researcher for Pennsylvania Spotlight.

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