Comcast today announced it is equipping seven different nonprofits in Cumberland County with WiFi-connected “Lift Zones” as 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 local centers, Comcast is providing robust WiFi coverage at these seven sites that are expected to help hundreds of low-income students and community members get online:
- Gateway Community Action Partnership, Everett Marino Hall (Bridgeton)
- Gateway Community Action Partnership, Family Success Center (Bridgeton)
- Cumberland Cape Atlantic YMCA (Vineland)
- Vineland Police Athletic League (Vineland)
- Boys & Girls Clubs of Cumberland County, Carl Arthur Recreation Center (Vineland)
- Boys & Girls Clubs of Cumberland County, Youth for Change Center (Vineland)
- Monarch Family Success Center (Vineland)
“These Comcast Lift Zones are critical infrastructure for our students and their families within the City of Bridgeton, many of whom struggle daily with the bare necessities of life – like food on the table and paying their rent or utilities,” said Albert B. Kelly, Mayor of Bridgeton and President and CEO of Gateway Community Action Partnership. “Internet connectivity has become even more vital in the age of COVID-19 and now Bridgeton-area students are able to get online, participate in distance learning and do their homework. Their success is all of our success. Comcast is helping our city’s youth from being left on the wrong side of the digital divide.”
“The Boys & Girls Clubs of Cumberland County, like many other community centers, quickly learned that having a robust WiFi solution that can support dozens of simultaneous connections would be necessary to provide our students with the means to fully participate in virtual learning. That had been a challenge until we became part of Comcast’s Lift Zone program,” said Chris Volker, CEO of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Cumberland County, which operates the Carl Arthur and Youth for Change Centers in Vineland. “Thanks to Comcast, we now have the WiFi coverage needed for online learning and virtual programming like Town Halls.”
“Comcast’s Lift Zone has brought important improvements to students’ use of the internet while at the YMCA, especially for our Virtual Learning Support Program,” said George Steinbronn Jr., CEO, Cumberland Cape Atlantic YMCA. “The Lift Zone has enhanced our students’ interaction with teachers and fellow students, increased accessibility and has speeded their virtual schoolwork. We are extremely appreciative of this generous gift from Comcast, which has greatly improved the technology we can provide to these children.”
In March, Comcast announced a $1 billion commitment over ten years in continued support of digital equity, including its Lift Zones initiative, which aims to establish WiFi-connected safe spaces in 1,000+ community centers nationwide for students and adults by the end of 2021.
Lift Zones complement Comcast’s Internet Essentials program, which has helped connect a cumulative total of 10 million low-income people to the Internet at home since 2011, including more than 25,000 in Cumberland County. Working with its network of nonprofit partners, Comcast is providing free WiFi hotspot connectivity in community centers with access to hundreds of hours of digital skills content to help families and site coordinators navigate online learning. Comcast has already launched more than 100 Lift Zones across Greater Philadelphia and New Jersey.
“The pandemic has put many low-income families at risk of being left behind, and we’re proud to work with community partners to support them with Internet adoption and digital equity programs like this one,” said Jim Samaha, Senior Vice President of Comcast’s Freedom Region. “We hope these Lift Zones help Cumberland County families stay connected to vital resources.”