MeckTech aims to lower the number of Charlotte households who need access to techy devices like laptops and online access. More than 50 thousand households in Charlotte don’t own laptops or have access to the internet. Thankfully, through the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library, the Emergency Connectivity Fund (ECF) aims to provide 20,000 refurbished laptops to qualified adults in Mecklenburg County. Another free laptop program exists for many low-income families whose income is below the federal poverty guidelines.
The MeckTech free laptop includes preloaded productivity and education applications accompanying all necessary hardware required for activation. Additionally, each kit comprises a refurbished laptop best for accessing the internet, teleconferencing, creating documents, and more. These devices use a Linux operating system with open–source software that can work with many Windows programs. However, internet service is not included, although all laptops can connect to WiFi.
Suppose you are ineligible for the MeckTech program. In that case, Mecklenburg County residents can contact 311 and press any key to request to speak with a Digital Navigator to help them choose other options for getting a free laptop. During the free MeckTech laptop distribution, the Center for Digital Equity introduced the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP). This federal program assists eligible households in getting discounts on free laptops and internet service.
How to Quality For Meck Tech Free Laptop
In the following we are mentioning some most valuable criteria that you need to meet up the eligibility for Meck Tech free Laptop.
- Be a Mecklenburg County resident
- Applicants must be 18 years or older
- Have a photo I.D. with a matching identification number (including a driver’s license, passport, student I.D., state I.D., employee I.D., tribal enrollment card, etc.)
- Have an active email address
- Submit proof of Mecklenburg County address (P.O. Boxes unacceptable)
- Sign a statement confirming that they do not have the technology required to meet their educational or informational needs.
Notably, MeckTech devices are provided as-is with open-source software and do not come with dedicated technical support.
When Will I Receive A MeckTech Laptop
Application for a MeckTech free laptop is open at www.mecktech.org by June 30, 2023. After applying, eligible applicants will get a confirmation email 7-10 business days after sending an application. However, applications that don’t match the requirements, are duplicates or are unapproved will not get a reply.
Afterward, approved applicants will enroll via the confirmation email for a distribution date and time. MeckTech free laptop distributions are scheduled on a first-come, first-served basis within the available date and time options. Therefore, due to many applications and the limited supply of the devices, the program can only guarantee some applicants’ approval. The free laptop program cannot provide technical support or replacements for the issued devices.
Affordable Connectivity Program(ACP) Free Laptop
The Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) is a Federal government program managed by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). This program assists low-income households in paying for broadband service and connected devices such as laptops or tablets. Applications for a free laptop are eligible for households having an income at or below the Federal Poverty Line. Besides, you’re also eligible if you or a household member receives a government benefit.
For an eligible household, you could receive the following:
- Up to a $30 per month discount on your internet bill
- Up to a $75 per month discount for households on qualifying Tribal lands
- A single discount of up to $100 towards purchasing a laptop. In this case, you must co-pay over $10 but less than $50.
How To Qualify For a Free Laptop Through ACP
The free laptop from the government through ACP is in limited supply; hence distribution follows adherence to the set guidelines. A household qualifies for this benefit if a member attains at least one of the income-based or program participation criteria as below:
A household should have an annual income that is at or less than 200% of the federal poverty guidelines;
- A participator in specific supported programs, such as SNAP, Medicaid, SSI, WIC, Federal Public Housing Assistance, or Lifeline;
- A participator in Tribal specific programs, including Tribal TANF, Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance, or Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations;
- An approved beneficiary of food assistance under the school breakfast program or free and reduced-price school lunch program including through the USDA Community Eligibility Provision in the 2019-2022 school year;
- Federal Pell Grant recipient during the current award year; or
- A household meeting the eligibility criteria for a participating provider’s existing low-income program.
Most importantly, depending on the category you qualify with, you must prove that you possess the required qualification set for a person to be eligible for a free laptop through ACP. You can attach a document with your application showing your identity, residence, program participation proof, or income level status.
How to Apply for a Free Laptop through various ways
You can enroll for the Affordable Connectivity Program(ACP) free laptop in various ways.
Online application is the most convenient and faster channel for applying for a free government laptop.
Log in or enroll a new account and proceed to AffordableConnectivity.gov to forward or print out a mail-in application.
Although it takes a couple of days to process an application, this method is yet another way to send an application for a free laptop. Print an application, complete the application and household worksheet, and forward them, along with copies of your proof documentation, to ACP Support Center, P.O. Box 7081 and London, KY 40742.
- Contact your Internet Company
After National Verifier approval, you can ask your internet provider if they offer ACP-free laptops or use the companies near me tool online to find a participating company near you. You can search for a participating wireless provider on this site using your Zip code or city and state. To view the complete list of options, tap “see the list of providers in your state” underneath the search results.
Providers of Free Laptops through ACP
However, you can apply for a free laptop through the wireless company’s online application process below.
- Assist Wireless
- enTouch Wireless
- Tag Mobile
- Standup Wireless
- Access Wireless
- Easy Wireless
- Cintex Wireless
- Newphone Wireless
- American Assistance
- True Wireless
- Life Wireless
You or know someone in dire need of a laptop. If so, eligible residents of Mecklenburg County can get a free laptop through the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library based on a first come, first served. Applications are available online at the Mecklenburg Library, and one must be a resident of this county and 18 years and above to apply. If you don’t qualify for this program, you can also enroll in Affordable Connectivity Program and stand a chance of getting a free laptop if confirmed as eligible.