To help celebrate National Veterans and Military Families Month, Comcast announced it would install free WiFi in up to 100 veteran-focused facilities, including the Veterans Leadership Program facility in Pittsburgh, as part of its expanding Lift Zones program. Lift Zones provide free WiFi access outside the home in neighborhood community centers. They complement Comcast’s Internet Essentials program, which provides low-cost broadband to eligible consumers, including veterans, inside the home. Both efforts are part of Project UP, Comcast’s comprehensive, ten year, $1 billion commitment to help build a future of unlimited possibilities.
Data around digital equity and veterans is clear. In 2020, the Department of Veterans Affairs experienced a 1000% increase in telehealth video appointments due the pandemic, an example of the importance of the internet for veterans to access benefits, education and career opportunities, and social connections. (Office of Public and Intergovernmental Affairs).
“The Internet is a fundamental tool to participate in today’s increasingly digital economy,” said Carol Eggert, Senior Vice President of Military and Veteran Affairs at Comcast NBCUniversal. “Today’s announcement will provide even more Internet access for veterans and military families. Doing so will enable them to participate in workforce development programs, access their well-deserved healthcare benefits, and foster meaningful connections with friends, family, and their fellow veterans.”
Comcast has already installed nearly 25 Lift Zones inside veteran-serving organizations nationwide, and it will continue over the next several months to work with members of the military community to identify additional locations.
“As we continue to navigate through the COVID-19 pandemic, having access to the Internet to take advantage of career development searches and support services has grown increasingly important for not only the veteran in need, but their families as well,” said Toshua Jarret, Chief Development Officer of Veterans Leadership Program. “We are proud to partner with Comcast through this Lift Zone to help provide the tools needed to help the veteran community succeed during this difficult time and beyond.”
There are 37 Lift Zones in Allegheny County, including public housing community centers, Casa San Jose, Boys and Girls Clubs and Gwen’s Girls locations. These are among the 100 Lift Zones throughout Comcast’s Keystone Region, also including the LGBT Center in Reading, Youth Services Center in Wheeling, YMCAs and transitional housing facilities throughout Pennsylvania.
Learn more about Comcast’s Lift Zones and how they help close the digital divide for students, veterans, and seniors.