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 it has equipped seven nonprofit organizations in western Massachusetts with WiFi-connected “Lift Zones”. The free WiFi coverage provided by Comcast at these community centers is expected to help hundreds of low-income students get online and do their schoolwork.
Current Comcast Lift Zones in western Massachusetts include:
- Boys & Girls Club Family Center (Springfield)
- Boys & Girls Club of Greater Holyoke, Inc.
- Boys & Girls Club of Springfield
- Greater Holyoke YMCA
- Homework House (Holyoke)
- North End Youth Center (Springfield)
- West Springfield Boys & Girls Club
“The Greater Holyoke YMCA has been working with the public school system to offer remote learning to approximately 70 area students since September, and to do this effectively we needed a dedicated space to provide internet to many users simultaneously streaming video and other applications,” said Kathleen Viens, CEO of Greater Holyoke YMCA. “ Our Comcast Lift Zone site is providing much needed support for these children to access their teachers and classmates online with in-person adult support. This program has allowed many parents and guardians to return to work knowing their child is in a safe and nurturing environment that ensures their children are engaged in their daily online school routine.”
“Once again Comcast has stepped in to advance our technology so that we can have powerful WiFi coverage for our youth operation,” added Vincent Borello, Executive Director of Boys & Girls Clubs of Springfield. “Comcast continues to be a reliable partner who keeps our program’s participants connected to the internet, which has become ever more important throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.”
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 97,000 households in Massachusetts.
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.
“We are proud to partner with community organizations in western Massachusetts and equip them with fast WiFi service to provide residents with safe and reliable connectivity to learn, access vital online services, and connect virtually with friends and loved-ones,” said Dennis Mathew, Senior Vice President of Comcast’s Western New England Region, which includes western Massachusetts. “This effort is part of our 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.”