Comcast to Install Free WiFi in 100 Veteran-Focused Facilities
Effort is part of expanding Lift Zones program
In honor of National Veterans and Military Families Month, Comcast said it will install free WiFi at up to 100 facilities focused on veterans, part of its Lift Zones program.
The Lift Zone program, initiated in 2020, brings WiFi connections outside the home to neighborhood community centers and complements Comcast’s Internet Essentials program, which provides low-cost broadband to eligible consumers inside the home. Both are part of Comcast’s Project UP, a 10-year, $1 billion commitment to reach 50 million people with the tools, resources and skills needed for success in the digital world.
“The Internet is a fundamental tool to participate in today’s increasingly digital economy,” Comcast NBCUniversal senior VP of Military and Veterans Affairs Carol Eggert said in a statement. “Today’s announcement will provide even more Internet access for veterans and military families. Doing so will enable them to participate in workforce development programs, access their well-deserved healthcare benefits, and foster meaningful connections with friends, family, and their fellow veterans.”
Comcast said it has already installed about 25 Lift Zones inside veteran-serving organizations and will continue to work with members of the military community to identify additional locations over the next several months.
Among the veteran organizations that will receive free WiFi via the Lift Zone program are:
• Veterans Leadership Program, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania: helps veterans in 30 counties across Pennsylvania, New York and Ohio with housing, career development, wellness and supportive services.
• Do Good Multnomah, Portland, Oregon: provides permanent, supportive housing and low-barrier emergency shelter to houseless veterans, as well as one-on-one engagement and supportive services for veterans in need.
• Alpha Omega Veterans Services Inc., Memphis, Tennessee: helps military veterans reintegrate into society, often after achieving recovery and rehabilitation from debilitating mental and physical conditions.
“As we continue to navigate through the COVID-19 pandemic, having access to the Internet to take advantage of career development searches and support services has grown increasingly important for not only the veteran in need, but their families as well,” Veterans Leadership Program chief development officer Toshua Jarret said in a press release. “We are proud to partner with Comcast through this Lift Zone to help provide the tools needed to help the veteran community succeed during this difficult time and beyond.”
Do Good Multnomah director of permanent supportive housing Jess Gibly added the program is especially important in the COVID-era, where access to internet service is crucial.
“These Lift Zones give our Veterans in Permanent Supportive Housing, many of whom cannot afford Internet themselves, the chance to get their wellness needs met and participate in online communities that have given people much needed support and connection during COVID,” Gibly said in a statement. ■
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Mike Farrell is senior content producer, finance for Multichannel News/B+C, covering finance, operations and M&A at cable operators and networks across the industry. He joined Multichannel News in September 1998 and has written about major deals and top players in the business ever since. He also writes the On The Money blog, offering deeper dives into a wide variety of topics including, retransmission consent, regional sports networks,and streaming video. In 2015 he won the Jesse H. Neal Award for Best Profile, an in-depth look at the Syfy Network’s Sharknado franchise and its impact on the industry.
By Kent Gibbons