Lift Zones provide safe spaces for students and families to access the Internet
Comcast today announced the creation of six “Lift Zones” in Tallahassee. 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 students that, for a variety of reasons, are not able to participate in virtual learning from home. The Lift Zones are located at facilities of Comcast community partners, including the Apalachee Ridge Technology Learning Center.
“When the COVID-19 pandemic hit last year, we saw quickly how a lack of Internet access was a major issue for students in our community who suddenly needed to learn virtually instead of in person. Comcast recognized and addressed that need by launching a Lift Zone at Apalachee Ridge Technology Learning Center,” said Christic Henry, Tech Center Coordinator for the Greater Apalachee Ridge Estates Neighborhood Association. “Collaboration like this between neighborhoods, community organizations and companies like Comcast is critical to ending the digital divide beyond the pandemic.”
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 helped connect more than eight million low-income people to the Internet at home.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has magnified the importance of digital inclusion for everyone. Internet access is more important than ever to ensure no students or families are left behind,” said Stefanie Bowden, External Affairs and Community Impact Specialist for Comcast in Tallahassee. “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. This effort is part of its ongoing commitment to help connect low-income families to the Internet and provide resources to help them fully participate in educational opportunities and the digital economy.
The Tallahassee Lift Zones are located at:
- Apalachee Ridge Technology Learning Center
- Boys & Girls Clubs of the Big Bend – Sunrise Place Club
- The L.I.F.E. Center
- The Oasis Center for Women and Girls
- Pinewood Community Center
- Springfield Community Center
Last month, Comcast opened 11 Lift Zones in Palm Beach County and the Treasure Coast. Comcast also launched 18 Lift Zones in South Florida throughout Broward and Miami-Dade Counties in February.
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.