Comcast announced today that it will provide free Wi-Fi services to low-income students in an effort to aid in home-based classes. This initiative is part of a new program called Lift Zones.
Under the multi-year program, Comcast will install more than 1,000 Wi-Fi-connected hubs in facilities nationwide where students can access the internet for free as well as "hundreds of hours of educational and digital skills content to help families and site coordinators navigate online learning". The company has identified 200 Lift Zones including the Harvey Johnson Community Center at Union Baptist Church in Baltimore, Olney Recreation Center in Philadelphia, Catholic Youth Organization of Mercer County in Trenton, and more locations.
Regarding the new initiative, Dave Watson, President and Chief Executive Officer of Comcast Cable, 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. These Lift Zones, which will be installed in community centers in local neighborhoods that our partners have identified and will run, will be places where students and families can get online and access the resources they need, especially while so many schools and workplaces have gone virtual.”
The new program is Comcast's latest step in offering free internet to customers affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. In June, it also announced an extension to its free Internet Essentials service, meant to help connect customers to the web through the end of 2020.