Comcast today announced it is equipping five nonprofits in Montgomery County with WiFi-connected “Lift Zones” as part of its ongoing commitment to help students and adults get online, participate in distance learning or remote work, do homework or look for and apply for jobs. Working with local centers, Comcast is providing robust WiFi solution at these sites that will help hundreds of people get online:
- YWCA Tri-County
- Palm Center for Positive Energy Lower Merion
- Montgomery County Opportunities Industrialization Center
- Variety Children’s Charity
- North Hills Community Center
“Some of our students do not have access to Internet at home, or may only have cell phones, so these Lift Zones from Comcast are giving them the capability to connect to their virtual classes with the laptops in our center. Reliable Internet service helps keep the flow of learning going for our students,” said Veronica Barna, Senior Director, Adult Education and Training Center, YWCA Tri-County Area.
“Thanks to our Lift Zone from Comcast, our AmeriCorps DAWN members had the Internet service they needed to be able to provide members of the community with virtual tax preparation assistance so they could file their taxes quickly and safely,” said Terridina Marshall, AmeriCorps DAWN Program Coordinator. “In addition, our Education and Training Department within the DAWN Program was able to provide Digital Literacy Workshop Trainings – using multiple forms of technology without issue.”
Marshall adds, “We are grateful for the help of Comcast’s Lift Zone initiative and hope that we can continue to work together in eliminating the barrier of technology that many members in the community face.”
“Reliable, fast WiFi is critical for Variety’s programming. Thanks to the Lift Zone from Comcast, our VarietyWorks participants can easily access information required in their vocational training, process customer orders, manage marketing needs for our Farm Stand and pop-up shops, and connect to resources that support them on their path to employment,” said Dominique Bernardo, Chief Executive Officer of Variety – the Children’s Charity of the Delaware Valley.
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 35,500 in Montgomery 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 Montgomery County families stay connected to vital resources.”