Comcast Launching WiFi-Connected “Lift Zones”

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Amy Keiter 
Director, External Communications 

As part of its ongoing commitment to help connect low-income families to the internet so they can fully participate in distance-learning and the digital economy, Comcast today announced that the Boys and Girls Clubs of Salem, Marion and Polk Counties are the first of a number of Lift Zones in Oregon/SW Washington.

Working with its network of nonprofit partners, Comcast is providing robust WiFi access in safe spaces designed to designed to help lift, or elevate, the experience for students getting online, engaging in distance learning and doing their homework. This initiative provides free connectivity inside various partner community centers over the next three years.

The Boys & Girls Club West Salem branch and the Swegle branch are the first two Lift Zone installed in the Oregon/SW Washington region. A third Lift Zone at the Knudson branch is expected to open shortly. The Clubs provides much-needed help to parents and guardians by providing a safe place where students can go to connect online each day during normal school hours. The Lift Zones features free WiFi provided by Comcast, which allows students to work on laptops simultaneously.

Sue Bloom, CEO of Boys & Girls Club of Salem, Marion and Polk Counties, says she’s honored to be the first Lift Zone sites in Oregon. “These Lift Zones are going to provide a critical service to our Boys & Girls Club kids — the kids who need us most — in support of their virtual learning, and we can’t wait to see how this improves their learning experience.”

Salem Mayor Chuck Bennett says, “I want to commend Comcast for developing the Lift Zone initiative and I am honored that Salem has been selected to kick off this much needed resource for Salem area students. I know many have struggled with getting their schoolwork done in a distance learning environment, and I’m confident that the Lift Zones at the Salem area Boys and Girls Clubs will prove to be an invaluable resource in the community to help get students connected.”

“We are proud to partner with community organizations like the Boys and Girls Clubs in the effort to enable kids to keep up with their schoolwork,” said David Tashjian, regional vice president, Comcast Oregon/SW Washington. “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. 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.” Tashjian is personally committed to the mission of the Boys and Girls Clubs: he is joining the board of the Boys and Girls Clubs of the Portland Metropolitan Area in January.

Several more Lift Zone sites are currently under consideration, with the goal of having 10 locations installed by early 2021.

In addition, Comcast recently announced that it is extending its offer of 60 days of free internet access to low-income customers through its program, and free access to all outdoor WiFi hotspots until June 30, 2021. Lift Zone sites complement Internet Essentials, which has helped connect more than 8 million low-income people to the Internet at home, including more than 52,000 families in Oregon/SW Washington.

About Comcast Corporation

Comcast Corporation (Nasdaq: CMCSA) is a global media and technology company with three primary businesses: Comcast Cable, NBCUniversal, and Sky. Comcast Cable is one of the United States’ largest video, high-speed Internet, and phone providers to residential customers under the Xfinity brand, and also provides these services to businesses. It also provides wireless and security and automation services to residential customers under the Xfinity brand. NBCUniversal is global and operates news, entertainment and sports cable networks, the NBC and Telemundo broadcast networks, television production operations, television station groups, Universal Pictures, and Universal Parks and Resorts. Sky is one of Europe’s leading media and entertainment companies, connecting customers to a broad range of video content through its pay television services. It also provides communications services, including residential high-speed Internet, phone, and wireless services. Sky operates the Sky News broadcast network and sports and entertainment networks, produces original content, and has exclusive content rights. 

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