Harris County and Comcast Houston have partnered to provide “Lift Zones” in community centers across Harris County to provide students who do not have Internet at home a safe space to participate in distance learning and do homework before and/or after school. The Lift Zones essentially offer robust WiFi hotspots provided by Comcast so students can connect to their classes and not fall behind.
“Over the past year, we’ve seen how digital access provides a critical lifeline for families,” said Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo. “Tackling the digital divide takes creative solutions and partnerships like this one and I’m appreciative of this partnership and innovative model as we work to ensure every child in Harris County has access to high-speed internet.”
“We are honored to partner with Harris County to provide students with safe, fast and reliable connectivity to keep up with school and prepare them for a bright future,” said Ralph Martinez, regional senior vice president, Comcast Houston. “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 expect these Lift Zones will help those students who, for a variety of reasons, are unable to connect to effective distance learning at home.”
“We are providing Internet to many community centers already, but this partnership will expand our efforts and help us focus on educational gaps.” shared Rick Noriega, executive director of Harris County Universal Services. It’s a winning situation for everyone.”
In addition to Comcast’s multiyear commitment to launch more than 1,000 WiFi-connected Lift Zones in community centers nationwide, they recently announced a $1 billion investment over the next 10 years to help further close the digital divide and give even more low-income Americans the tools and resources they need to succeed in an increasingly digital world.