Lift Zones provide safe spaces for students and families to access the Internet
Comcast is creating eleven “Lift Zones” throughout Palm Beach County and the Treasure Coast. Comcast is launching these WiFi connected Lift Zones to provide students with safe spaces to connect to the Internet to participate in virtual classes and complete schoolwork.
As the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent shift to online learning continue, Comcast saw the need to address the lack of Internet access among area students that, for a variety of reasons, are not able to participate in virtual learning from home. The Lift Zones are located at the facilities of Comcast community partners, including West Palm Beach Police Athletic League and the Compass Community Center in Lake Worth.
“The Lift Zone has exceeded all expectations. Thanks to the support from Comcast, we are now able to offer high speed internet to our youth who do not have the economic capacity to afford suitable WiFi services in their homes,” said Jervonte Tae Edmonds, Executive Director of West Palm Beach Police Athletic League. “By providing internet access for these students, they are able to participate in virtual learning. Their parents are more than grateful that their children can take advantage of the Lift Zone instead of having to be held back because they couldn’t complete their schoolwork online.”
“The Comcast Lift Zone is a tremendous addition for our community. Providing internet access to those young people who need it most is a step in a necessary direction,” says Michael Riordan, Compass’ Director of Marketing. “Our youth program is extremely excited to have a Lift Zone hosted at Compass. We are proud to partner with Comcast to make sure the youth of our community have the resources they need to succeed.”
This initiative provides free hotspot connectivity both inside and outside the locations and access to hundreds of hours of digital skills content to help families and site coordinators navigate online learning. Lift Zones complement Comcast’s Internet Essentials program, which has connected more than 10 million people in America to broadband internet at home over the last decade since it launched in 2011.
“The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has magnified the importance of digital inclusion for everyone in our communities. Internet access is more important than ever to ensure no students or families are left behind,” said Carla Roderick, Director of External Affairs and Community Impact for Comcast in Palm Beach County and the Treasure Coast. “Besides attending virtual classes and completing online schoolwork, students and their families can also access important school updates, educational apps and programs as well as the latest news and telehealth applications.”
In September, Comcast announced a multiyear program to launch more than 1,000 WiFi-connected Lift Zones in community centers nationwide.
The Lift Zones will be located at:
- Banner Lake Community Center in Hobe Sound
- City of Pahokee Community Gymnasium
- Compass Community Center in Lake Worth
- Guatemalan Maya Center in Lake Worth
- Hispanic Human Resources Council in West Palm Beach
- Hobe Sound Community Chest
- Indian River Youth Guidance in Vero Beach
- Martin County Police Athletic League in Palm City
- The Milagro Center in Delray Beach
- The Riviera Beach Youth Empowerment Center
- West Palm Beach Police Athletic League
In February, Comcast launched 18 Lift Zones in South Florida throughout Broward and Miami-Dade Counties. Also in February, the company announced it will invest $1 billion over the next 10 years to reach as many as 50 million people from low-income families with the tools and resources they need to succeed in a digital world.
In addition, Comcast has extended its COVID-19 relief measures, including free Internet service for the first 60 days for new Internet Essentials customers and free access to more than 1.5 million public Xfinity WiFi hotspots to anyone, including non-Xfinity customers, through June 30, 2021.