Comcast Joins with Local Community-based Organizations to Launch WiFi-Connected “Lift Zones” in Peoria area

A Lift Zone sticker on a community center door

Lift Zones provide safe spaces where students and families can access the Internet for school and digital skills building

August 11, 2021 – Comcast announced the launch of new WiFi-connected “Lift Zones” at community centers in six Peoria area locations. Lift Zones are safe spaces where students and families can get online for distance learning, to do homework, to learn new digital skills and to search for employment. The new Lift Zones are located at:

The COVID-19 crisis put many low-income students and families at risk of being left behind and accelerated the need for comprehensive digital equity and Internet adoption programs to support them. The Lift Zones are part of a larger multiyear plan by Comcast to support community-organization based WiFi at more than 1,000 Lift Zones throughout the country – including the Peoria area. The Lift Zones also are an extension of the company’s longstanding commitment to help connect low-income families to the Internet and provide resources to help them take advantage of educational opportunities and the digital economy.  The Lift Zones complement Comcast’s Internet Essentials program, a low-cost Internet adoption program for low-income families, which has helped connect more than 10 million people in America – including more than 1.3 million in Illinois alone –  to the Internet at home since it was launched in 2011.   Through the company’s Internet Essential Partnership Program, Comcast joined with Peoria Public Schools District 150 and Illinois Central College to bring Internet service into even more low-income homes to ease the challenges of distance learning and remote work during the pandemic.

“The pandemic has further demonstrated that digital literacy and Internet access are necessities for our community,” said Peoria Mayor Rita Ali.  “We are pleased to have Lift Zones in Peoria to help students and families connect to the Internet for school, work and building digital skills at local community organizations.”

“We are proud to join Comcast and other community partners to launch Lift Zones in the Peoria area,” said Jacobie Proctor, Chief Executive Officer of George Washington Carver Community Center. “The ability to provide free Internet access helps further our vision to create opportunities and experiences that are essential for individuals and communities to grow and thrive.”

“Through Internet Essentials, Comcast has helped hundreds of thousands of Illinois families cross the digital divide,” said Matthew Summy, Comcast’s Regional Vice President of External and Government Affairs.  “I’m proud that Comcast recognized the impact of the digital divide early on, stepped up and now continues to offer solutions that further our commitment to communities through the creation of Lift Zones and the Internet Essentials Partnership Program.”

Comcast continues to offer, through the end of 2021, all new Internet Essentials customers two months of free Internet service. Comcast also continues to extend free access to its 1.5 million public Xfinity WiFi hotspots to anyone who needs them, including non-customers, through the end of 2021. These hotspots are located in public places like small businesses, parks and transportation hubs and are in addition to the Lift Zones.

Lastly, Comcast’s Internet Essentials program also makes a range of educational resources available online for anyone to access at www.internetessentials.com/learning. The Learning Portal provides videos and materials about topics like: Internet Basics, Online Safety and Security, Building New Skills and Getting Things Done. The site also links to a number of free educational websites for students.

About Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Peoria

Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Peoria is a local affiliate of the Boys & Girls Clubs of America—the nation’s largest building-centered, youth-focused provider of after-school programs.

Boys & Girls Clubs are designed to inspire and enable young people to become responsible, productive, caring citizens; to assure that every young person has the opportunity to share in the American Dream, and to provide young people with resources to  succeed.

About Boys & Girls Club of Pekin

The Boys & Girls Club of Pekin utilizes various programs from sports to financial and science-based learning to assist children in furthering their education and becoming the best version of themselves as they grow older.

About George Washington Carver Community Center

George Washington Carver Community Center’s mission is to engage in such recreational, educational, health, social, and civic activities which help foster and improve the character, desires and ambitions of all persons and of all ages.

About Nannie M. Johnson Community Center

The Nannie M. Johnson Community Center in Peoria IL serves an important purpose. Operating under New Beginnings Ministries of Peoria, the community center makes a difference. Lives of North Side youth, teens and adults feel the positive impact every day. In addition, the community center acts as a blessing for all of Peoria. In transforming the former Kingman School at 3129 N.E. Madison Avenue, we have created a community outreach building. We have made it a place where people can be helped mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually.

About Richland Farms Community Center

The goal of our program is to provide services to low-income communities.  The Richland Farms Community Center is used by several local groups to provide educational programs for the youth.  We also provide several computer access points for children who don’t have access in their homes.  Throughout the year, we host special events such as holiday related events for the residents.  In addition, we operate a food bank out of this facility to serve the community.

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 www.comcastcorporation.com for more information.

With nearly 6,000 local employees, Comcast’s Greater Chicago Region
(https://chicago.comcast.com) serves customers in central and northern Illinois, including the Chicago area, northwest Indiana and southwest Michigan. “Like” Comcast’s Greater Chicago Region on Facebook by visiting @Comcast. “Follow” Comcast’s Greater Chicago Region on Twitter at @ComcastIllinois.

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