Lift Zones Will Provide Safe Spaces with Free Internet to Help Hundreds of Low-Income Students Participate in Distance Learning
SCRANTON, PA – April 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 the Greater Scranton YMCA and Greater Pittston YMCA with WiFi-connected “Lift Zones” this month. The robust WiFi coverage Comcast will provide at these centers is expected to help hundreds of low-income students get online, participate in distance learning and do their homework.
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 22,000 people in Lackawanna County and 8,000 in Luzerne County.
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.
“The Greater Scranton and Greater Pittston YMCAs are so grateful to Comcast for designating our facilities as Lift Zone sites,” said Rich Surridge, Chief Financial Officer of the Greater Scranton YMCA. “It’s because of the generosity of community partners like Comcast that our Ys have continued making such a significant impact on the lives of so many children and families during the pandemic. Thanks to Comcast’s gift of WiFi coverage, the children we serve in our school age programs, and additional children participating in youth serving programs, have access to the tools and resources needed for success.”
There are 17 Lift Zones already operational in central 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.”