PHILADELPHIA & SAN FRANCISCO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Today Comcast hosted the Digital Equity Summit in San Francisco. The meeting brought together more than 100 executives, program directors, community leaders, public officials and other key stakeholders from across the Golden State working to bridge the digital divide and create digital equity. The aim of the summit was to highlight best practices; learn more about the current and future needs of vulnerable communities; and identify challenges, solutions and available financial resources. The summit also served as a moment to celebrate the work of Comcast’s valued digital equity partners across California who have worked during the pandemic to promote Internet adoption and provide digital literacy training to those in need.
In addition, the company announced that it exceeded its expanded goal of launching 1,250 elevator zones by the end of this year. Comcast’s award-winning Lift Zones program provides free Wi-Fi at neighborhood community centers across the country. As of September 2020, Lift Zones have enabled nearly six million free WiFi user sessions for students, veterans, seniors and adults.
According to a consumer survey of users who visited the lift zone:
4 out of 10 report that they would not have access to the Internet without the elevator zone.
50% of low-income households in Comcast’s core markets are within walking distance of an elevator zone.
58% of Lift Zone users strongly believe that the site helps them achieve more.
58% report that the elevator zone reduces stress when studying, working remotely, and/or managing tasks online.
56% say the lift zone is critical to success at school, work, and/or managing online tasks.
92 percent of sites report that being a Lift Zone helps them increase digital equity in their communities.
The Lift Zones program is part of Comcast’s UP Project – a comprehensive initiative to advance digital equity and build a future of limitless possibilities. Backed by a $1 billion commitment, Project UP will help reach tens of millions of people with the skills, resources and opportunities needed to succeed in the digital world.
“Right now we have a unique opportunity to help connect the unconnected,” said Broderick Johnson, EVP Digital Equity and EVP Public Policy, Comcast Corporation. “Working together between Comcast, our nonprofit partners, and state and federal governments, we’ll connect more homes to the Internet and help even more people take advantage of important resources like the federal Affordable Connection and Digital Skills Training program.”
“Comcast’s continued partnership and commitment to our communities has resulted in more students, children, seniors and families being able to connect to the Internet,” said San Francisco Mayor London Breed. “Public-private partnerships like this allow us to ensure that all of our communities have access to the services they need to thrive.”
Comcast’s Lift Zones were originally created in collaboration with city leaders and nonprofit partners to help keep students connected to schools during the early stages of the pandemic. These digital navigators have helped countless communities in their time of greatest need. Even as students return to their classrooms, Comcast continues to see strong demand for Lift Zones, which serve underrepresented populations and offer a variety of digital literacy programs, access to online health services, workforce development training and support for digital navigators.
“Thanks to Comcast, we’ve been able to connect many of our families to the Internet with high-speed WiFi to support a dynamic learning environment for their children,” said Gloria Corral, president and CEO of the Parent Institute for Quality Education. “Today’s Digital Equity Summit reaffirms Comcast’s commitment to the communities we serve. I look forward to how today’s conversation will improve and help support the lives of children and families.”
In addition to the Lift Zone program, which won the SXSW “People’s Choice Award” earlier this year, Comcast is proud to participate in the federal government’s Affordable Connection Program (ACP). ACP provides eligible households with a subsidy of $30 per month that can be applied to their internet services. When used to pay for Comcast’s Internet Essentials service, home broadband is effectively free.
With Comcast Business solutions, the company has installed more than 150 elevator zones across the state of California. To find a lift zone near you, visit: https://internetessentials.com/learningsearchpage and for more information about Project UP, visit corporate.comcast.com/impact/project-up.
About Comcast Corporation
Comcast Corporation (Nasdaq: CMCSA) is a global media and technology company that connects people to the moments that matter. We are primarily focused on connectivity, aggregation and streaming with 57 million customers in the United States and Europe. We provide broadband, wireless and video through our Xfinity, Comcast Business and Sky brands; create, distribute and stream premium entertainment, sports and news through Universal Filmed Entertainment Group, Universal Studio Group, Sky Studios, NBC and Telemundo broadcast networks, multiple cable networks, Peacock, NBCUniversal News Group, NBC Sports, Sky News and Sky Sports; and deliver unforgettable experiences at Universal Parks and Resorts in the United States and Asia. Visit www.comcastcorporation.com for more information.