Comcast has announced a multiyear program to launch more than 1,000 Wi-Fi-connected “Lift Zones” in community centers nationwide, part of its ongoing commitment to help connect low-income families to the internet so they can fully participate in educational opportunities and the digital economy.
Working with its network of thousands of nonprofit partners and city leaders, Comcast will provide Wi-Fi in facilities they have identified to help students get online, participate in distance learning, and do their schoolwork, the company said.
“For nearly a decade, Internet Essentials has helped to change the lives of millions of people by providing low-income families with Internet access at home,” said Comcast President and CEO Dave Watson. “These Lift Zones, which will be installed in community centers in local neighborhoods that our partners have identified and will run, will be in places where students and families can get online and access the resources they need, especially while so many schools and workplaces have gone virtual.”
Because the coronavirus crisis has put many low-income students at risk of being left behind, 200 Lift Zones have been created to help those students who, for a variety of reasons, may be unable to connect to distance learning at home, or who just want another place in which to study.
The first Lift Zones have already been identified, with several now open amid the anticipation of others in cities that include D.C., slated to open this year in more than a dozen cities.
Examples include Baltimore’s Harvey Johnson Community Center at Union Baptist Church, which serves more than 50 students and community members in West Baltimore. The center has been recognized as a safe space for participating in online education, as well as in intergenerational learning classes, with access to computers and training through its cyber center.