The expense associated with home computer ownership represents a significant barrier to broadband adoption. For low-income residents without the ability to purchase a home computer (or other device), a public computer center may be their only opportunity to access the internet. Further, public access to technology is necessary for community members who have little or no communication technology available in the home, need assistance to effectively use technology, or need to supplement connectivity at home or in schools. A community should have sufficient, free access to computers, internet, wireless networks, and other communication technologies to support the needs of residents. In addition, public computer centers should be located in safe facilities, with adequate levels of privacy, security, and accessibility for people with disabilities. Information regarding the availability and location of public computer centers should be widely disseminated. The chart above shows the number of public computers available at libraries and organizations responding to the libraries and organizations survey. The chart also shows the total number of locations offering public computers in the community and the average number of computers per site, and the number of computers per site for libraries and organizations in other Connected communities.
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