Comcast opens Wi-Fi hotspot at Boys & Girls Club in Muskegon

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Lift Zones from Comcast provide free Wi-Fi hotspots in safe spaces designed to help students get online, participate in distance learning and do their homework. Courtesy Boys & Girls Club of the Muskegon Lakeshore

Comcast opened the first Wi-Fi-connected “Lift Zone” in Muskegon at the Boys & Girls Club of the Muskegon Lakeshore, 900 W. Western Ave.

Lift Zones from Comcast provide free Wi-Fi hotspots in safe spaces designed to help students get online, participate in distance learning and do their homework.

Summer hours are noon to 8 p.m., and school year hours are 2-8 p.m. The Boys & Girls Club of the Muskegon Lakeshore said it anticipates the Lift Zone will impact more than 300 kids each day.

“Too many children in underresourced areas have been disadvantaged in their education because of limited access to the internet, Wi-Fi or devices in the home,” said Virginia Taylor, vice president of operations for the Boys & Girls Club of the Muskegon Lakeshore. “Our partnership with Comcast is a step in the right direction to keep kids and families connected and focused on a brighter future.”

Lift Zones also serve adults and connect them to online adult education, job searches, health care information and public assistance. The sites offer access to hundreds of hours of digital skills content to help families and site coordinators navigate online learning.

In September, Comcast announced a multiyear program to launch more than 1,000 Wi-Fi-connected Lift Zones in community centers nationwide. The effort is part of its ongoing commitment to help connect low-income families to the internet and provide resources to help them fully participate in educational opportunities and the digital economy. Lift Zones complement Comcast’s Internet Essentials program, which has connected more than 10 million people to internet at home.

“While some children can participate in distance learning at home, many children in Muskegon may not have that ability,” said Jeff Snyder, manager of government and regulatory affairs for Comcast in Michigan. “Together with the Boys & Girls Club of the Muskegon Lakeshore, we are helping families who, for a variety of reasons, cannot connect to the internet and access life-changing opportunities when learning online.”

In March, Comcast announced it will invest $1 billion over the next 10 years to equip as many as 50 million people from low-income families with the tools to help further close the digital divide. In 2021 alone, Comcast estimates students will be able to complete more than 25 million hours of remote learning lessons to further address the “homework gap” at the hundreds of Lift Zone locations that have already opened or will open soon.

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