Daily CSR
Daily CSR

Daily CSR
Daily news about corporate social responsibility, ethics and sustainability

Lift Zones Impact: Comcast's Free Internet Spaces Benefit Communities Nationwide


Key Points to Remember: 
  • Comcast collaborates with local nonprofits and community groups to establish Lift Zones, providing free WiFi for families to access the internet and develop digital skills.
  • Through partnerships with organizations like the Ralph J. Roberts Boys & Girls Club in Philadelphia, Comcast showcases the positive impact of Lift Zones in communities.
  • Lift Zones are integral to Project UP, offering necessary tools, resources, and skills for success in a digital world, with 74% of users endorsing them.
The Significance of Lift Zones
In response to the digital disparities exacerbated by the 2020 global pandemic, Comcast introduced "Lift Zones" as a solution. These zones serve as hubs for free internet access, digital services, and assistance from Digital Navigators, aimed at bridging the digital divide. They are strategically placed in various community locations, including centers, parks, and small businesses.
Origins and Evolution
Initially launched to support remote learning during pandemic-related school closures, Lift Zones have evolved into a vital aspect of Project UP, Comcast's $1 billion initiative to provide internet connectivity and digital training. With over 1,250 Lift Zones installed nationwide, this program has garnered recognition for its effectiveness in addressing digital inequities.
Personal Stories from the Field
In a series titled "Why Do You Lift," Comcast highlights stories from teens at the Ralph J. Roberts Boys & Girls Club in Philadelphia's Germantown area. These teens illustrate how Lift Zones empower them beyond traditional education settings, enabling endeavors such as teaching music, exploring art, and mentoring peers. 
What Defines a Lift Zone?
Lift Zones represent designated spaces within local community centers where students and families can access free internet services. This initiative also delivers a wealth of educational and digital skills content, aiding individuals in navigating online learning. The locations of Lift Zones vary, encompassing nonprofit community centers, gyms, parks and recreation facilities, and even small businesses.
Their Functionality:
  • Lift Zones serve a multitude of purposes, facilitating: 
  • Students in completing homework tasks before or after school.
  • Adults in working remotely or seeking job opportunities.
  • Seniors in acquiring digital literacy skills.
  • Veterans in advancing their careers and accessing healthcare benefits.
  • Individuals in attending telehealth appointments.
  • Connection to Digital Navigators for technical assistance.
The Positive Influence of Lift Zones
Comcast collaborated with the Benenson Strategy Group to explore the beneficial effects of Lift Zones on communities. The provision of reliable WiFi, devices, and a supportive communal environment significantly alleviated the challenges of remote learning for families utilizing Lift Zones during the pandemic. Parents who turned to these spaces reported heightened satisfaction with community resources supporting education and displayed a more positive outlook on the management of remote learning by schools and local governments. Nearly all surveyed parents relying on Lift Zones expressed their effectiveness and recurrently utilized them.
Moreover, a vast majority of community leaders emphasized the importance of ensuring children have access to high-speed internet and essential technology. Even as students return to physical classrooms, both parents and community leaders recognize the ongoing potential of Lift Zones, including offering access to educational resources and devices for adults lacking them at home. Identified potential offerings include after-school programs tailored to student needs, college application coaching, tech support services, telehealth facilities, and technology literacy programs for seniors.
Highlighted Statistics from the Benenson Strategy Group study
  • 90% of Lift Zones users affirmed their helpfulness.
  • Over 62% of users returned to utilize Lift Zones more than twice.
  • Approximately 74% of users are highly likely to recommend Lift Zones to others in their community.
With widespread endorsement for Lift Zones and their contributions to children and families, Comcast remains committed to ensuring their sustained impact across communities nationwide.