Blog post by Spencer Duncan, Digital Equity Vista at the Office of Innovation and Technology 

Helping Philadelphians get access to devices is a key goal in Philadelphia’s Digital Equity Plan 

Experts say that “insufficient access to large-screen devices—desktops, laptops, or tablets—can have negative consequences for people of all ages.” Research shows that 19% of Philadelphia households still do not have any working computer. 

This post lays out resources for residents to get free or low-cost devices.  

Need a computer?    

  1. Call a Digital Navigator. Digital Navigators provide one-to-one dedicated support to households around accessing and using technology. Philadelphia’s Digital Navigators work closely with the City’s PHLDonateTech initiative. This initiative calls on residents and businesses to donate and recycle computers to people in need.  

If you are a resident who does not have a computer and cannot afford one, calling a Digital Navigator is your best first step.  

  • Get a free or low-cost device through the Affordable Connectivity Program. This federal program offers a one-time benefit of up to $100 off a device from a participating internet service provider and up to a $30/month discount to your internet service. Visit Not all Internet Service Providers are offering devices. You can use your ACP benefit for just a device or for both a device and internet service. If you want to use your benefit toward both, you must get your device and your internet through the same provider. Digital Navigators can help you sign up and get the benefit your household needs.
  • The School District of Philadelphia will loan a Chromebook to its K–12 students in need. If your child has not received a Chromebook, you can contact your school office. If your Chromebook is not working, you can contact the School District’s Parent and Family Technology Support Hotline at 215-400-4444. Find more information on the School District’s website about how to get help with your student’s Chromebook. 
  • Get a free or low-cost computer through one of these national refurbishers. The below groups offer affordable devices for purchase or through a lottery. 
    • human-I-T connects low-income individuals and nonprofits to technology, internet, and digital training. 
      • Qualified individuals can purchase low-cost computers.
      • They offer free shipping, 1 year of unlimited tech support and a 1-year hardware warranty.   
      • They are a qualified provider for the ACP and can offer both a device and internet access though a mobile hotspot.    
      • human-I-T works with schools and nonprofits that need more than 50 computers. To organize this, contact them at 
    • PCs for People provides qualifying individuals with low-cost devices, internet, tech support, and digital literacy training.  
      • Qualified individuals can buy low-cost devices. 
      • They offer free shipping and a 1-year warranty. 
      • They are a qualified provider for the ACP and offer both a device and internet access through a mobile hotspot.  
      • You can call a hotline for one-on-one support at (651) 800-9097 or email
    • Comp-u-dopt brings in device donations and distributes them to families through a lottery system.
      • To qualify for a computer, you must not have access to a working computer at home, and you must have a child in K-12 education (up to age 20) in the Philadelphia area.   
      • No one is ever asked to pay for services.  
      • Every device comes with 2 years of free tech support and a 2-year warranty.  
      • Philadelphians can find more information, including on how to register for a lottery event here.