Low-Income Students will Receive Access to Fully Equipped Safe Spaces to Participate in Distance Learning
Salt Lake City, UT – Mar. 15, 2021 – Comcast Corporation (NASDAQ: CMCSA) today announced plans with Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall and Ogden City Mayor Mike Caldwell to equip 35 locations throughout Utah with free WiFi-connected “Lift Zones,” or public WiFi hot spots, by the end of 2021.
With an ongoing commitment to connect low-income families to the Internet, the partnership members are expanding WiFi hotspots in Utah’s most aggressive plan to date.
“We are investing in this project because the pandemic has put countless low-income students at risk of being left behind,” said Deneiva Knight, director of external affairs at Comcast. “That has accelerated the need for comprehensive digital equity and Internet access and adoption programs, such as Lift Zones.”
Lift Zones are designed to help those students who may be unable to connect to distance learning at home or who want or need another place in which to study.
“The urgency of this service has never been greater,” said Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall. “Kids can now have dependable Internet resources in a good learning environment. That reliable internet is key component of our YouthCity programming service, the Comcast partnership will help keep our students connected.”
The partnership will expand Utah’s network of public WiFi hotspots with Comcast providing robust, free WiFi service in safe spaces, such as parks and recreation centers, and other non-profit and community centers – in low-income neighborhoods – where need to help connect students and families is greatest.
“We expect to help tens of thousands of low-income students get online, participate in distance learning and do their homework when schools reopen and it’s safe to gather in a socially distanced manner,” Knight said.
Initially, Lift Zones will be activated at Boys & Girls Club of Greater Salt Lake, Youth Impact Center of Ogden, Suazo Business Center, YWCA Utah and Tracy Aviary Jordan River Nature Center.
“Tech and innovation have always been critical and foundational parts of my vision for our capital city,” said Mendenhall. “There’s an incredible value in these public-private partnerships that we simply can’t afford to bring the level and the quality of internet that our residents need and deserve.
“Through these public-private partnerships, we are able to leverage these foundational needs so much farther. We’re grateful and we’re thrilled.”
“Our goal is to provide free Internet connectivity and access to hundreds of hours of educational and digital skills content to help families and site coordinators navigate online learning,” Knight said. “Lift Zones complement Comcast’s Internet Essentials program, which, since 2011, has helped connect millions low-income people to the Internet at home.”
In addition to the WiFi Lift Zones initiative, public, private and non-profit partners are working together to provide internet access to hundreds of Utahns in need, including seniors and families.
Visit utah.comcast.com/lift-zones for more information and the latest updates.
About Boys & Girls Club of Greater Salt Lake
Established in 1967 in Murray and Sugar House, the Boys Clubs in Utah were among the first in the country to included female Club members. In 2015, the merger of the two Boys & Girls Club organizations became one of Utah’s largest youth development agencies. Now with seven locations in Salt Lake, Tooele, and Carbon counties, The Boys & Girls Club enrolled nearly 6,500 youth and teams, and served 1,200 each day in after-school and summer programs, fulfilling its mission to inspire and empower youth to realized their full potential as productive, responsible, and caring citizens.
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. Visit comcastcorporation.com for more information.