'PC Pledge 100' to supply low income families with refurbished PCs

By on August 8, 2012, 1:00 PM

The Federal Communications Commission is teaming up with Connect2Compete, Redemtech and the League of United Latin American Citizens to launch a nationwide computer donation and recycling drive known as PC Pledge 100. The initiative is asking each participating corporation to donate at least 100 used computers that would otherwise be headed for landfills. Systems collected will then be refurbished and redistributed to low-income Americans that can’t afford a computer or Internet access.

According to Gartner Research, US organizations discard roughly 17 million computers each year so it goes without saying that many companies should be able to spare at least 100 PCs. Donated computers will have minimum specifications of an Intel Core 2 Duo processor or equivalent, 2GB or more of RAM, at least 80GB of storage, an optical drive, Ethernet connection and a Wi-Fi card.

As FCC chairman Julius Genachowski points out, systems with such minimum specifications will likely be considered outdated to most businesses but they would still work perfectly for basic computing and Internet connectivity.

Connect2Compete and Redemtech will be responsible for refurbishing the old computers. The latter organization will wipe the hard drives of all data before installing Windows 7 and a number of productivity applications supplied by Microsoft at a discounted price. The reconfigured machines will then be placed with their new owners.

The program is designed to address the fact that roughly 60 percent of low-income families don’t have a computer at home and that 36 percent of Americans without broadband access cite cost as the primary reason.




User Comments: 19

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gwailo247, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

I hope that by "wipe the hard drive" they will use some pretty hefty means to do so, not just a simple format.

I could see major corporations being reluctant to do this otherwise for security reasons.

treetops treetops said:

They could always give it away without the HD. I bet you could find a used replacement pretty easy and cheap on ebay, a low income family would welcome a computer for the cost of a used HD. I am sure they could find some volunteers to organize it all.

Low income families can get broadband for 10$ a month if they or there kids already qualify for assistance but I have never met anyone who knows that. Iv told some people but its not well known in this neck of the desert.

amstech amstech, TechSpot Enthusiast, said:

This is a great idea.

We throw out/recycle about 20 PC's a month, countless HP DX2000's and Dell Optiplex 170L's that no longer meet the requirements for the Hospital.

Many of them work good after a good clean factory recovery.

We also have enough new mice and keyboards to supply a small school, all of them brand new.

2 people like this | ITAM_Practice ITAM_Practice said:

@gwailo247 @Redemtech utilizes proprietary data erasure technology that produces an auditable and verifiable record of destruction for each drive that is sanitized. Many of our customers are banking and healthcare organizations that are highly regulated by privacy laws. @treetops giving away a computer without a harddrive also means without the benefit of a full suite of software that will allow them to utilize the computer. Too many times I have heard of donations going south because the intended recipient did not have the financial means to repair the system and purchase the operating system and basic office software. Thanks @amstech! I agree, the digital divide need not exist based on the amount of technology being manufactured today.

gwailo247, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

@gwailo247 @Redemtech utilizes proprietary data erasure technology that produces an auditable and verifiable record of destruction for each drive that is sanitized. Many of our customers are banking and healthcare organizations that are highly regulated by privacy laws.

Very cool, thank you for answering my question!

Guest said:

You can use DBAN to wipe the hard drives. I work at a small company and most of the old computers don't match the min specs or don't work anymore however hopefully the larger companies can help out.

yRaz yRaz said:

Great idea, all those computers would just end up in landfills anyway.

Guest said:

Plus they should give them at least a year free internet connection,to go along with the computer.

After the first year or so..let them buy it for like $100.00 a year for their internet...(y)

cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Plus they should give them at least a year free internet connection

If it's free, we should be proud of what we get and not ask for more.

.

Gamesinner said:

Great more free shit to shitbags so they can perpetuate more socialism in this country.

NTAPRO NTAPRO said:

Great more free shit to shitbags so they can perpetuate more socialism in this country.

ORLY

Guest said:

My problem is that I have numerous laptops/desktops that are totally awesome, but it's hard to find someone to give all the equipment to. Why? Sometimes I think, "Joe would really like a relatively new Windows 7 system with 4GB of RAM, but Joe knows nothing about computers which means the laptop will be trashed in about one month." I would much rather see efforts at educating people about how to take care of a laptop/desktop before giving them something they will trash or think is faulty when the first problem occurs at boot.

Scshadow said:

Great more free shit to shitbags so they can perpetuate more socialism in this country.

ORLY

I don't know if you've ever been around that type of person, you know the ultimate procrastinator, but the usefulness of having a computer is underutilized for the most part. I wouldn't call them ****bags as thats a disrespect to their individual situations and personal hardships they faced and perhaps don't have the coping skills to handle. But I do ultimately see it perpetuating more reliance on the government to provide them things they don't necessarily need or will most likely misuse rather then it fostering the connectivity intended to help people find jobs.

cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

I would much rather see efforts at educating people about how to take care of a laptop/desktop before giving them something they will trash or think is faulty when the first problem occurs at boot.
I do agree, but one must want to be educated first. So many times I've tried explaining things, but people want their screens to light up mysteriously (and quickly I might add) without any preventative labor on their part.

Guest said:

LOL, those minimum specs read almost like my computer - I've got an E6400 2.13 GHz C2Duo, 4 GB RAM (upgraded from 2 GB) and larger HD. It also has a discrete graphics card (HD5770). The funny part is this thing is still quite zippy ... but then again I know not to load it with heaps of bloatware. It's no so much about computer specs as it is about the software running on it and the ability of its user(s) to maintain it clean.

SNGX1275 SNGX1275, TS Forces Special, said:

LOL, those minimum specs read almost like my computer - I've got an E6400 2.13 GHz C2Duo, 4 GB RAM (upgraded from 2 GB) and larger HD. It also has a discrete graphics card (HD5770). The funny part is this thing is still quite zippy ... but then again I know not to load it with heaps of bloatware. It's no so much about computer specs as it is about the software running on it and the ability of its user(s) to maintain it clean.

I have that same computer, but not onboard graphics. My video is a bit better, but everything else is the same as you.. Hell, its fine, computers are plenty fast now. 10 years ago an upgrade might mean you cut your loading time of something in half... say 40 seconds to 20. Now, still cut in half but its 4 instead of 8... is it really worth all that money for 4 seconds?

Guest said:

Instead of loading these free computers with Windows 7 and office suites at a reduced rate, why not load them with a Linux distro. and Open or Libre Office?

treetops treetops said:

@Gamesinner

I don't see whats wrong with giving a single mother of 3 working 60 hours a week waiting tables a used computer. Of course some people abuse the system, but most don't. This doesn't appear to be costing the tax payer money so I have no clue why anyone would complain. I also don't see whats wrong with recycling a computer rather then throwing it away that's wasteful.

Oh no that guy over there gave a bum his old t-shirt! Hes not using it for looking for a job how dare he accept that t-shirt! It affects me in no way whatsoever but I am outraged! He should put that shirt in the trash!

ITAM_Practice ITAM_Practice said:

@Gamesinner

I don't see whats wrong with giving a single mother of 3 working 60 hours a week waiting tables a used computer. Of course some people abuse the system, but most don't. This doesn't appear to be costing the tax payer money so I have no clue why anyone would complain. I also don't see whats wrong with recycling a computer rather then throwing it away that's wasteful.

Oh no that guy over there gave a bum his old t-shirt! Hes not using it for looking for a job how dare he accept that t-shirt! It affects me in no way whatsoever but I am outraged! He should put that shirt in the trash!

@treetops, I like the way you think!

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