Holland’s first Wi-Fi Lift Zone coming to South Side Boys & Girls Club

The Boys & Girls Club of Greater Holland’s South Side location has been chosen as Comcast’s first Wi-Fi-connected “Lift Zone” in Holland.

A Lift Zone provides free, robust Wi-Fi hotspots in safe spaces designed to help students get online, participate in distance learning, and do their homework. 

“Our club members will be able to use our Lift Zone to access the internet during the end of the school year and throughout the summer to get a jump on the new academic year in the fall,” says Craig Spoelhof, executive director of the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Holland. “Access to the internet is vital to our members’ development, and we are proud to join Comcast to create a place where the community can connect to learn, find jobs, and access other important resources.”

10-year investment 

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

The Boys & Girls Club facility, at 435 Van Raalte Ave., will be open 9:30 a.m. to noon and 1-4 p.m. Monday through Friday. 

In March, Comcast announced it will invest $1 billion nationally 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. This support is coming in the form of digital skills training, grants, and free service and laptops.
 
Comcast plans to reach 50 million students and individuals through its low-cost Internet Essentials service, free Wi-Fi through its community Lift Zones initiative, and digital literacy training program grants over the next decade.

Accelerated need
 
The announcement coincides with the release of a 10-year Progress Report showing that, since 2011, the company, working in collaboration with its network of thousands of nonprofit partners, has connected a cumulative total of more than 10 million people in America to broadband internet at home, the overwhelming majority of whom were not connected prior to signing up. In Ottawa, Muskegon, and Allegan counties, Comcast has connected more than 30,800 people to the internet.

The COVID-19 crisis has put many low-income students at risk of being left behind and has accelerated the need for comprehensive digital equity and internet adoption programs to support them. 

“A connection to the internet is important to every family, whether they are learning from home, applying for jobs, or scheduling medical appointments,” says Tim Collins, senior vice president of Comcast in Michigan. “Our partnership with the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Holland will help those families who, for a variety of reasons, are unable to connect to the internet and have access to these life-changing opportunities.” 

About Internet Essentials

In the past 10 years, Internet Essentials has become the nation’s largest and most successful low-income Internet adoption program and has connected millions of people to the internet. 

It offers households the following:
  • Low-cost broadband internet service ($9.95/month).
  • Greatly subsidized pricing on the purchase of a computer.
  • Multiple options for free digital literacy training.
Comcast has also committed to providing 60 days of free Internet Essentials service for qualifying low-income families through the end of 2021. Additionally, the company increased speeds for all new and existing Internet Essentials customers at no additional cost.

The company is also participating in the federal government’s Emergency Broadband Benefit program. The benefit is available to new and existing internet customers who qualify across all tiers of service, including Internet Essentials. New and existing customers who are interested in participating can receive up to a $50/month credit on their internet bill from Comcast. Click here for more information.

Related:

Boys & Girls Club steps up to support youth during the pandemic
 

 


 

Read more articles by Shandra Martinez.

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