Lift Zones Will Provide Safe Spaces with Free Internet to Help Thousands of Low-Income Students Participate in Distance Learning
PITTSBURGH, PA — January 19, 2021 – 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, Comcast today announced plans to equip eight different locations in Pittsburgh with WiFi-connected “Lift Zones” over the next few months.
Working with the Housing Authority of the City of Pittsburgh (HACP), Gwen’s Girls and Boys and Girls Clubs of Western Pennsylvania, Comcast is providing robust WiFi coverage at safe spaces in HACP’s Arlington Heights, Bedford Dwellings, Northview Heights and Homewood North properties, Gwen’s Girls locations in Clairton, Pittsburgh and Wilkinsburg and the Boys and Girls Club in Carnegie that are expected to help thousands of low-income students get online, participate in distance learning and do their homework.
“We have now seen more than ever the importance of internet connectivity for young people,” said Mayor William Peduto. “Closing the digital divide is a top priority in Pittsburgh and across the nation.”
“HACP is very pleased to welcome Comcast’s Lift Zones to our communities as part of our collective effort to ensure that all Pittsburgh families, regardless of income, are connected to the digital world,” said Caster D. Binion, HACP Executive Director. “HACP and Comcast have already brought hundreds of households online through the Internet Essentials program and this new initiative will ensure that places of learning in HACP communities are fully equipped for online learning.”
Additional Lift Zones sites in Pittsburgh are currently under consideration, with the goal to have all locations installed by early 2021. These Lift Zones will feature free WiFi provided by Comcast, which will enable students to successfully participate in distance learning. The initiative will provide free connectivity for the community centers for the next three years.
Lift Zone sites complement Comcast’s Internet Essentials program, which has helped connect more than 8 million low-income people to the Internet at home since 2011.
“The COVID-19 crisis continues to put many low-income students at risk of being left behind, accelerating the need for comprehensive digital equity and Internet adoption programs to support them,” said Toni Murphy, senior vice president for Comcast’s Keystone Region. “We hope these Lift Zones will help those students who, for a variety of reasons, are unable to connect to effective distance learning at home.”
In addition, the company has been working with Pittsburgh Public Schools, McKeesport Area School District and Ambridge Area School District to provide low-income student households which are eligible for Comcast’s Internet Essentials high-speed broadband service for up to the remainder of the 2020/2021 school year.