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Covington Connect to hold computer distribution on Saturday; sign up for chance at free computer

If you registered your family in hopes of getting a free desktop computer as part of the Covington Connect digital equity project, watch your phone.

Several hundred more free computers are scheduled to be given away Saturday to families of Covington schoolchildren, and if your name was selected, you will be notified via text in the next days.

And – if you have not already signed up – you can still do so by clicking here.

Already, 656 computers have been given away as part of Covington Connect, and 330 more will be given away this weekend – provided the “invited” people show up, said Jacqui Babbili, director of special projects for Comp-U-Dopt, the Houston nonprofit partnering with the City on the initiative.

Almost 700 computers have been distributed as part of Covington Connect at previous drive-up distribution events in Latonia. (City of Covington photo)

“We just need people to sign up and keep checking their text messages,” Babbili said.

Signing up doesn’t 100 percent guarantee you a computer. It’s a lottery system and names are drawn. If your name is drawn, you receive a text that says “Congratulations, you have won a computer from Comp-U-Dopt,” Babbili said.

It then provides a confirmation link. Recipients need to click the link to receive a unique access code, which they then use to set up an “appointment” time, she said.

The desktops were refurbished by Covington computer firm Blair Technology Group, the nation’s No. 1 authorized Microsoft refurbisher.

“We encourage people to register, because right now, we have more computers than people,” said Jon Adkins, director of resident services for the Housing Authority of Covington, another partner in the initiative.

HAC recently worked with Cincinnati Bell to install infrastructure that provides free high-speed Wi-Fi access to over 600 units in the City Heights and Latonia Terrace complexes, and he said many families also received free computers.

“They said picking up the computer was quick and easy, and that with all the instruction they received, the computers were easy to set up and get working,” Adkins said. “They’re already using them for both school and work.”

Wi-Fi ‘hotspot hosts’ needed

Also as part of Covington Connect, the City is seeking property owners who will allow a small device called a “wireless access point” to be installed on the exterior of their buildings so as to create a zone of free Wi-Fi connectivity, also called a “hotspot.”

To see if your home qualifies, contact Pete Bales at petebales@icloud.com, or Bruce Applegate at (859) 292-2320.

From City of Covington

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