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The single, sustainable product solution to finding every student a laptop by Dec 25

The pandemic has brought a unique set of global challenges. Owing to millions of people forced to work or study from home, the need for a computer at home is now ubiquitous, contributing to a severe global shortage of laptops.

Nick Rawkins
07/12/2020

The pandemic has brought a unique set of global challenges. Owing to millions of people forced to work or study from home, the need for a computer at home is now ubiquitous, contributing to a severe global shortage of laptops.

For many disadvantaged children, being without access to a laptop and internet connection has meant being disconnected from teachers, school work, and classmates. In the UK, 12 million people, including 1.5 million school children, cannot get online at home.

Because of the pandemic, the “digital divide” between the connected and disconnected has further widened, disproportionately affecting those of us of lesser means. According to UNESCO, the closing of schools and the widespread switch to online learning has “derailed the lives of kids all over the world.”

Government schemes to provide devices for students fall short

In response, the UK’s Department for Education’s (DfE) set up a scheme in April to provide year 10 pupils with laptops, tablets and 4G routers – but by August, just under a quarter of eligible pupils had actually received a device.

Despite another 100,000 laptops having been delivered in September, the Government announced laptop allocations for England’s schools would be slashed by 80%. It’s unlikely that this gap will close any time soon – a gap of 1M+ disadvantaged students still remains. 

Significant logistical challenges” were cited as early as April – one of the key factors affecting the scheme has been the global demand for devices. In Germany for example, the government announced a €500 million plan in August to provide teachers and students with laptops and cheap access to the internet. 

Supply chain disruptions

Manufacturers are finding it increasingly difficult to source components for new products. In August, Lenovo, HP and Dell reported laptop shortages and supply chain failures. Apple had to push back production on this year’s new iPhone. 

Just as a second lockdown is being confirmed in the UK following the lead of neighbouring countries, the solution for the growing shortage could be right in front of us – and the need for working / studying from home solutions isn’t going anywhere. 

By reusing devices already in circulation, by refurbishing and remanufacturing this equipment, we could fill the gap and do the environment a huge favour. Attitudes are shifting quickly – refurbished is now the fastest growing IT hardware category globally, growing 18% year-on-year in 2019

London-based, sustainable and affordable laptops

Reconome is supplying affordable, high-quality refurbished Chromebooks and laptops, and together with internet4everyone and Onestream, providing affordable home fiber connections to students’ families. 

No student should be left behind. Make your school’s budget go further and serve more students by selecting refurbished devices. Our product line shows that high quality tech doesn’t have to cost the earth.

Contact Fleur Durand-Smet (fleur@recono.me) to learn more about our offers on refurbished IT equipment and home internet.

Reconome is on a mission to end E-waste. The company has been a certified B Corp since March 2020. It partners with great businesses around the UK to prevent redundant IT equipment from finding its way to landfill. 4 out of 5 devices received by Reconome engineers are repaired and redeployed. These remanufactured devices are given a new lease of life with new owners like schools, SMEs and charities, saving them money, keeping valuable resources in circulation, and saving the planet energy, raw materials and emissions.