Denver Public Library in the United States has launched a pilot allowing customers to take home free Wi-Fi hotspots.
People can borrow the hotspot like they would a book for up to three weeks. This will allow those who cannot afford a full internet subscription to surf from home, and not have to look for a public computer.
“When you get the kit it has everything you need so when you get home you can easily and quickly on to the internet,” Chis Henning, Denver Public Library’s spokesman, told CBS Denver.
Computer ownership and internet use in Colorado state is among the highest in the country, but some people can be left behind. “If you lost a job or had to make cuts to a budget, so you may not have that ability to make those searches from home,” said James Vallejos of the Denver Public Library.
In Asia, such an initiative could be particularly helpful for the elderly. For instance, Singapore has set up tech zones for the elderly in public libraries. They offer one hour of free internet access for people aged 50 and above through the Silver Infocomm Initiative. There are 90 such hotspots across the island, including in community centres and self-help group centres.
The government also provides workshops at libraries and community clubs to help the elderly pick up new tech skills, like using a tablet device.