Lift Zones Will Provide Safe Spaces with Free Internet to Help Thousands of Low-Income Students Participate in Distance Learning
PITTSBURGH, PA – April 6, 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 Allegheny County Housing Authority (ACHA) locations with WiFi-connected “Lift Zones” over the next few months.
Lift Zone sites complement Comcast’s Internet Essentials program, which, since 2011, has now connected a cumulative total of more than 10 million people in America to broadband Internet at home, including approximately 160,000 people in Allegheny County alone.
Today’s announcement also comes on the heels of Comcast’s recent $1 billion commitment over the next 10 years to help further close the digital divide and give even more low-income students and families the tools and resources they need to succeed in a digital world.
Comcast is providing robust WiFi coverage at eight community centers that are expected to help thousands of low-income students get online, participate in distance learning and do their homework:
- Pleasant Ridge Community Building, McKees Rocks
- Debra Booker Center, Natrona Heights
- Hays Manor, McKees Rocks
- Lloyd Hayden Center, Natrona Heights
- Prospect Terrace, East Pittsburgh
- Millvue Acres, Clairton
- Groveton Village, Coraopolis
- Orchard Park, Duquesne
“Broadband access is essential and this pandemic has only made that point more clear. Americans are using the internet to learn, to work, and to stay safe,” said U.S. Congressman Mike Doyle. “Comcast is helping bridge the digital divide by connecting these communitites.”
“Internet connectivity is important to every family, whether they’re learning from home, applying for jobs or scheduling medical appointments,” said U.S. Congressman Conor Lamb. “Comcast’s Lift Zones are helping families fully participate in educational opportunities and the digital economy.”
“Connecting community centers with WiFi makes sense,” said Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald. “Through this partnership, students will have access to the tools that they need to continue learning in this new, virtual environment.”
“Allegheny County Housing Authority is very pleased to welcome Comcast’s Lift Zones to our communities as part of our collective effort to ensure that families, regardless of income, are connected to the digital world,” said Frank Aggazio, Executive Director.
There are 16 Lift Zones already operational in western Pennsylvania, with others currently under consideration. 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.
“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 Lisa Birmingham, Vice President of External and Government Affairs 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.”