Today, a growing number of experts recognize the value of computer repair as one potential solution in bridging the “digital divide.” The recent pandemic significantly increased the need for high tech learning tools. In the USA alone, some educators reported they required an additional 5 million laptops to meet the needs of children attending classes remotely. Under these circumstances, repair technicians enjoy an excellent opportunity to assist communities in obtaining better access to valuable IT resources.

Obstacles to Implementing a Repair-Versus-Replace Paradigm

Indeed, even before COVID-19 imposed widespread distance learning upon public schools in some places, scholars in the UK researched this timely topic. They identified key obstacles hampering the acceptance of repair services as a viable alternative to simply replacing older computer systems with new ones. Potentially, many factors impact this important societal issue.

Why don’t more computer users seek repair services? What considerations prevent many businesses from repairing and then donating used laptops and PCs to assist charitable organizations? Reportedly, the answers to these questions frequently involve complexity. Recent articles about this topic have implicated some of the following concerns:

  1. Many landfills lack computer-recycling facilities of any kind.
  2. Consumer attitudes often disparage repair as inferior to upgrading to a new product.
  3. The need for computer recycling today greatly exceeds the available supply of products.
  4. Spare parts remain unavailable in some cases due to the pandemic.
  5. Manufacturers sometimes restrict access to essential design information for commercial and/or security reasons.
  6. Proprietary software “locks” limit reuse in some cases.
  7. Repairers may lack access to essential tools and manuals required to fix some brands.
  8. Businesses donating used computers often don’t possess the types of computer systems educators and charitable organizations currently require to promote public Internet access.

Towards a Less Wasteful, More Sustainable, Use of Technology

Today, computer repairers frequently assist clients in overcoming the Digital Divide. Many technicians donate their services on behalf of nonprofit organizations seeking to expand available computer resources. These individuals provide important assistance to local schools and libraries, for example.

Additionally, a growing number of businesses now appreciate the vital difference the gift of used computer equipment sometimes makes within a community. Repairing an older computer and then donating it to a classroom, a hospital, or a nonprofit helps others. This kindness generates immense goodwill towards donors!