This week, the National Digital Inclusion Alliance released a new info-graphic about broadband access in America. Part of their findings regarding regional access may be surprising to some. People often imagine rural areas that lack the infrastructure for broadband to be most in need of efforts to increase access. Instead, this NDIA report shows that 15 million of the 20 million households without internet access are in “urbanized” census areas.
Places like Durham are the most affected by lack of internet access. The biggest barrier to broadband access for American households is affordability rather than infrastructure.
The NDIA and other digital inclusion organizations know that the solution to the access gap has three parts: Affordable broadband, affordable devices, and digital literacy training. At Triangle Ecycling, our efforts are focused on the last two parts of this solution. Since January 2019 we have donated 90 computers to young people in Durham through our nonprofit partners. Additionally, we sell discounted computers in our shop and online. To help people in Durham better use their devices and stay safe on the internet, we teach free Computer Literacy Workshops through the libraries and local nonprofits.
When we pick up equipment from our corporate clients, they can feel confident that their equipment is going to help close the access gap right here in Durham. The computers that we receive from these companies end up in the hands of foster children, local high school students, and nonprofit staff in our community. To learn more about digital inclusion and efforts to expand access, visit the NDIA website at digitalinclusion.org.
Triangle Ecycling is a nonprofit with the mission of making Durham (our home town) smarter, cleaner and more equitable. We do this by supporting education. We have a semester long computer tech internship for Durham Public High School juniors and seniors that teaches tech, teamwork and the soft skills of working in a real business that gives back to its community. We’ve had more than 100 interns come through the program. We also donate 10% of our profits to the DPS Foundation to support innovation and equity in the public schools. Finally, we teach digital literacy and Internet safety through our nonprofit partners. We make Durham and our environment cleaner by recycling over 70 tons of e-waste a year – keeping much of it out of the landfill. We are your Durham electronic recycling/ecycling option. We enhance equity by donating computers, tech support and education to any Durham nonprofit that educates kids and offer discount computers to help bridge the digital divide at our local Triangle VIP Store.