Philadelphia— Comcast announced a partnership with HGTV to rebuild spaces and amplify the community spirit in its Lift Zones in three cities— Atlanta, Baltimore and Portland. HGTV is donating $150,000 toward the revitalization of the three Lift Zones.
The network has a storied history of working to renew communities through series such as Home Town, Good Bones and Bargain Block. Inspired by its most recent juggernaut hit Home Town Takeover, HGTV is also commissioning artists to create inspirational murals at or near each of the Lift Zone locations. Comcast will partner with local designers to make over the selected Lift Zones: Girls, Inc., Atlanta; Boys & Girls Club of Metro Baltimore—Brooklyn Club; and Inukai Boys & Girls Club in Hillsboro, Oregon.
Since September 2020, Comcast has been rolling out Lift Zones as part of its ongoing effort to provide free WiFi to 1,000 community centers across America by the end of this year. These safe spaces will help ensure thousands of low-income students can remain online to continue to participate in distance learning and do their homework, even if their schools are closed.
The Lift Zones initiative complements Comcast’s Internet Essentials program, which, since 2011, has connected a cumulative total of more than 10 million people in need to the Internet at home. By also providing community centers with free WiFi service, more students, seniors, veterans, and others have access to the Internet for education, participating in digital skills training, applying for jobs, and staying in touch with friends and family who have been forced to socially distance due to the pandemic.
“We’re thrilled to partner with HGTV to help give these three Lift Zones a special makeover,” said Karen Buchholz, Executive Vice President, Comcast Corporation. “These community centers provide safe spaces for people to get online, and this exciting partnership will go a long way to helping make them as comfortable and inviting as possible.”
“At HGTV, we present and celebrate stories of transformation,” said Karen Bronzo, Group Senior Vice President, Marketing & Strategy for HGTV and Food Network. “It’s an honor to team with Comcast on these revitalization and enhancement projects that have the potential to touch so many lives and in these communities.”
Last September, Comcast announced a multi-year program to launch more than 1,000 WiFi-connected “Lift Zones” in community centers nationwide. The sites were identified by working with the company’s network of thousands of nonprofit partners as well as getting input from city leaders.
The announcement also comes on the heels of a series of initiatives Comcast launched during the COVID-19 pandemic that reinforced the company’s commitment to addressing the digital divide and the homework gap by upping the speeds of the Internet Essentials program’s Internet service to 50 Mbps downstream without changing the $9.95/month price, which has not increased in more than a decade.
In addition, the company continues to offer 60 days of free Internet service to new Internet Essentials customers who sign up before June 30, 2021.