Brian Kiser, executive-director of the Office of Broadband Outreach and Development (OBOD) and Rob Jones, executive-director of Community Action Kentucky (CAK) visited Harlan on Tuesday to unveil donated surplus state computers at the Harlan County Community Action Agency. The donation, facilitated by OBOD, brings the total number of computers given to Community Action Kentucky locations around the state to 100.
Working to increase broadband access across the state, the OBOD is also trying to get Kentuckians to adopt and use the donated computers for learning, accessing services or looking for a job.
“The Office of Broadband was looking for a partner to really help a certain type of citizen in the state of Kentucky that may not have Internet access at the home due to the lack of availability to the home or possibly the affordability,” said Kiser. “I contacted Rob Jones at Community Action Kentucky…and we worked out the details. We got the computers donated free. Rob’s group has an IT staff that was able to load the computers the way they would be accessible. Anytime state computers are donated they have to be completely stripped according to policy and procedures.”
Kiser said locations across the state were discussed and Harlan County was one of the areas chosen to be a part of this program.
“We took on 100 computers and we’ve now placed them in 12 different locations across the state,” said Jones. “With this placement in Harlan we’ve now completed placement of 100 computers across the state. We’re now in negotiations for possibly another 100 computers. It’s certainly possible Harlan may receive more computers.”
Jones said once the computers are placed at community action agencies, they must be maintained by the agencies at their expense. He said the computers must be made available to the public for the next three years and after that time the computers may be used at the agency’s discretion or sold.
“This program has been successful for the past two and a half years,” said Jones. “Hopefully, it will go on for more years to come.”
Nola Sizemore may be reached at 606-573-4510 or on Twitter @Nola_hde