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For Immediate Release: Monday, October 10, 2022

Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich today announced that Montgomery Connects, the County’s digital equity program, has received more than $22.6 million in Federal and State grants to expand access to computers, broadband service and service discounts, and technology training for low-income residents and seniors. 

Montgomery Connects is using most of the grant funding to provide 50,000 loaner computers to low-income County residents. More than 76 percent of Montgomery Connects computer recipients are Black or Latino. Among the recipients, 84 percent live in households earning less than $50,000 per year.

Computer distribution events also provide in-person assistance to help eligible families get free home or mobile internet service so they can better use the computers.

“Everyone deserves to be part of the digital world—it is a necessity,” said County Executive Elrich. “Montgomery County was focused on digital equity before the pandemic, and it is critical to our economic and educational recovery efforts. I appreciate the Federal, State and private sector entities for these investments and am proud of what Montgomery Connects is doing to bring much needed funding to expand digital equity programs for our residents most in need.”

Montgomery Connects has partnered with more than 35 County facilities, organizations and key community stakeholders to host to 80 distribution events so far throughout the County.

“A big shout out to our community partners for making this program a huge success—WorkSource Montgomery, Upcounty Hub, Oak Street Chapel Hub, Manna Food, Nonprofit Montgomery, Cross Community, the Montgomery Coalition for Adult English Literacy and the County's library and recreation departments,” said County Council President Gabe Albornoz. “With their help, we created learning and job opportunities for some of our most vulnerable residents.” 

Midway through the program, 25,000 grant-funded Chromebook computers have been distributed. The distribution events will continue into December.

Eligible residents must make an appointment at receive a computer. New appointments are released every Sunday at 2 p.m. 

Upcoming distribution events will include:

  • Tuesday, Oct. 11. 6:30-9:30 p.m. Plum Gar Community Center, 19561 Scenery Dr., Germantown.
  • Wednesday, Oct. 12. 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Wheaton American Job Center,11510 Georgia Ave., Silver Spring.
  • Friday, Oct. 14. 1-5 p.m. White Oak Senior Center, 1700 April Ln., Silver Spring,
  • Saturday, Oct. 15. 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Gilchrist Center, 11002 Veirs Mill Rd., Silver Spring.

“Barriers to accessing technology are also barriers to socioeconomic opportunity, education, health and one’s overall quality of life,” said Councilmember Nancy Navarro, who chairs the Government Operations and Fiscal Policy Committee that oversees the Montgomery Connects program. “I applaud the Montgomery Connects community partnerships that are contributing to our success in helping to close the digital divide. It’s essential that we lift up community members who have been left behind to help us achieve our County’s racial equity and social justice goals.”

Montgomery Connects is powered by the County’s Department of Technology and Enterprise Business Solutions (TEBS). TEBS is leveraging the grants and County funding to operate many programs to close the digital divide.

“We know that computers, training and home broadband service are the foundation to allowing everyone to access technology and internet for work and school, and for everyday life,” said Gail M. Roper, the County’s chief information officer and TEBS director. 

Highlights of the Montgomery Connects program:

  • 25,000 of 50,000 loaner Chromebook computers have been distributed throughout the County to low-income and senior County residents.
  • Three to four events per week are held with assistance available in English, Spanish, and Amharic. Distribution events will continue into December 2022.
  • More than 76 percent of computer recipients are Black or Latino. U.S. Census data reports as many as one in three Black and Latino residents in half of the County do not have a home computer.
  • 84 percent of computer recipients live in households earning less than $50,000 per year.
  • Of households receiving computers, 71 percent subscribe to broadband and are eligible for broadband subsidies, but are not yet enrolled in broadband subsidy programs.

Information about eligibility for the program and how to make an appointment is available at  

Information provided at distribution events includes enrollment assistance in English and Spanish for:

  • The Federal and State Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) that provides $45 monthly broadband discounts to eligible families enrolled in benefit programs.
  • Free 100 Mbps home broadband service and free mobile broadband available with the ACP discount from Comcast, Verizon, Astound, T-Mobile, AT&T, Verizon and others.

Montgomery Connects has provided in-person enrollment assistance to help more than 400 Montgomery County families enroll in ACP, saving a combined $231,000 a year for these families. 

More than 13,000 County families have enrolled in ACP. However, an estimated 20,000 additional eligible families have yet to enroll in ACP.

Information about eligibility and how to get help enrolling in ACP is available at  

Information about other Montgomery Connects broadband and training programs, including Senior Planet Montgomery technology training for older adults and MoCoNet 100 Mbps residential broadband service at affordable housing developments, is available at or by emailing [email protected].

Montgomery Connects has received the following grants:

  • $15,975,170 from the Federal Communications Commission’s Emergency Connectivity Fund (ECF), in partnership with Montgomery County Public Libraries, to purchase 40,000 Chromebooks for residents who would not have access to a computer for education
  • $4,009,755 through 21 Maryland Emergency Education Relief (MEER) grants to purchase 10,000 Chromebooks for K-12 students for hybrid learning
  • $1,345,376 through eight Maryland Emergency Education Relief (MEER) grants to purchase 1,000 laptops for departments, community organizations and Linkages to Learning partners working with low-income and underserved K-12 students
  • $961,000 through four Maryland Connected Communities Grants (MD-GAPS) to expand MoCoNet, the County’s 100 Mbps residential broadband service and Montgomery Connects digital engagement program. The program assists residents living in affordable housing developments in partnership with the Housing Opportunities Commission and the Montgomery Housing Partnership
  • $175,000 through a Truist Bank Expanding Potential in Communities (EPIC) grant to bring broadband service and training to seniors served by MoCoNet and living in Housing Opportunities Commission and APAH affordable housing developments
  • $155,000 of Montgomery County’s Health and Human Services American Rescue Plan Older Americans Act funding to assist qualified seniors. The funds are used to enroll the seniors in the Federal and Maryland Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) to receive $45 per month off home broadband services and for award-winning training through the Senior Planet Montgomery program operated by OATS Powered by AARP.

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Release ID: 22-521
Media Contact: Mitsuko.Herrera 240-777-2928
Categories: Consumer, Grants, Senior