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Comcast's Lift Zone at a community center.
Students are especially favored with these WiFi points. Photo: Business Wire.

Comcast exceeds goal of launching more than 1,250 “Lift Zones” in the U.S.

The company made the announcement at the Digital Equity Summit in San Francisco.

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Amid a meeting that brought together more than 100 executives, program managers, community leaders, public officials, and other stakeholders interested in bridging the digital divide and creating equity in this area in California, the global media and technology company announced that it surpassed the expanded goal of this program offering free high-speed WiFi access within community centers.

In a summit noted for promoting best practices, learning more about the current and future needs of vulnerable communities, and identifying challenges, solutions and available funding resources, Comcast also highlighted the work of the firm's digital equity partners throughout California, who have worked during the pandemic to help drive Internet adoption and provide digital literacy training for those in need.

Broderick Johnson, EVP Digital Equity and EVP Public Policy at Comcast Corporation, stated:

We have a once-in-a-generation opportunity right now to help connect the unconnected.

“Lift Zones” Milestone

Launched in September 2020 as part of Comcast's Project UP, this award-winning initiative has facilitated nearly six million free Wi-Fi user sessions for students, veterans, seniors and adults at neighborhood community centers across the country.

Initially created in partnership with city leaders and nonprofit partners to help keep students connected to schools during the early stages of the pandemic, Lift Zones now serve diverse populations and offer a variety of literacy programs, access to online healthcare services, workforce development training, and digital browser support.

According to a consumer survey of users who visited a Lift Zone:

  • 4 out of 10 report that they would not have had internet access without Lift Zone.
  • 50% of low-income households in Comcast's top markets are within walking distance of a Lift Zone.
  • 58% of Lift Zone users strongly believe the site helps them achieve more.
  • 58% report that the Lift Zone reduces stress when studying, working remotely, and/or managing tasks online.
  • 56% say Lift Zone is critical to success in school, work, and/or online task management.
  • 92% of sites report that being a Lift Zone helps them increase digital equity in their communities.

“Working together between Comcast, our nonprofit partners, and the state and federal government, we will connect more households to the Internet and help even more people take advantage of critical resources such as the federal Affordable Connectivity Program and digital skills training,” added Johnson.

Ensuring digital success

In addition to the Lift Zone program, which earlier this year won the SXSW "People's Choice Award," Comcast is proud to participate in the federal government's Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP), which provides eligible households with a US$30/month that can be applied to their Internet service.

Powered by a Comcast Business solution, the company has installed more than 150 Lift Zones throughout the state of California.

Reactions

“Comcast’s continued partnership and dedication to our communities have resulted in allowing more students, children, seniors, and families to get connected to the Internet,” said San Francisco Mayor London Breed. “Public private partnerships like these allow us to ensure that all of our communities have access to services they need to thrive.”

“Thanks to Comcast, we’ve been able to connect many of our families to the Internet with high-speed WiFi to support a dynamic learning environment for their children,” said Gloria Corral, President and CEO of Parent Institute for Quality Education.

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