Safe online working and learning zones are part of $1 billion nationwide commitment to bridge the digital divide
(KNOXVILLE, Tenn.) May 26, 2021 – Comcast today announced the launch of 13 new Xfinity WiFi-connected “Lift Zones” in greater Knoxville to support low-income students, families and others impacted by the global pandemic.
Lift Zones provide robust Wi-Fi hotspots in safe community spaces, allowing students to get online, participate in distance learning and do their homework. The sites also serve adults, connecting them to online education, job searches, healthcare information and public assistance. The initiative provides free internet connectivity inside community centers and access to hundreds of hours of content.
“The pandemic has presented significant internet connectivity challenges for families and students that Comcast has worked hard to address,” said Jason Gumbs, Regional Senior Vice President at Comcast. “These Lift Zones offer a safe place for our residents and students to succeed, and we thank our Knoxville community partners for their support.”
The newest Lift Zones locations include:
- Boys and Girls Club – Northridge Crossing Location – 3916 Carus Road (open)
- Boys and Girls Club – Walter P Taylor Location – 317 McConnell Street (open)
- Boys and Girls Club – Haslam Location – 957 Irwin Street (open)
- Boys and Girls Club – Western Heights Location – 1331 W. Oldham Avenue (open)
- Morrison Hill Christian Church – 106 Morrison Hill Cir (open)
- Boys and Girls Club – Debusk Family Location – 1819 Dry Gap Pike (open)
- Boys and Girls Club – Montgomery Village – 4530 Joe Lewis Road (open)
- Boys and Girls Club – North Ridge Crossing Location – 3916 Carus Road (open)
- Boys and Girls Club – Clinch Valley Location – 102 S. Jefferson Circle (opening early June)
- Centro Hispano de E TN – 2455 Sutherland Ave (opening early June)
- Shora Foundation – 2425 Martin Luther King Jr Ave. (opening early June)
- Knox County John T. O’Connor Senior Citizens Center – 611 Winona St. (open)
- Boys and Girls Club – Vestal Club – 522 Maryville Pike #2412 (open)
COVID-19 accelerated the need for comprehensive digital equity and internet adoption programs for students and families who are at risk of being left behind without access to essential life-based education, work and healthcare information needs. Comcast’s Lift Zones initiative is specifically designed to help low-income students and families who are unable to access the internet.
In 2020, Comcast announced a multiyear program to launch more than 1,000 Xfinity WiFi-connected Lift Zones in community centers nationwide. This effort is part of the company’s ongoing commitment to help low-income families connect to the internet while providing resources to help them fully participate in educational opportunities and the digital economy remotely.
In nearly 10 years, Comcast Internet Essentials has become the nation’s largest and most successful low-income internet adoption program and has connected millions of people. It offers households low-cost, broadband service for $9.95/month, the option to purchase a heavily subsidized computer and multiple options for free digital literacy training. In 2020, Comcast committed to providing 60 days of free Internet Essentials service for qualifying low-income families that are new customers through June 30, 2021. Additionally, the company increased speeds for all new and existing Internet Essentials customers at no additional cost.