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Free wifi is removing barriers for underserved communities around Puget Sound

The all-new "Lift Zones" provide free robust wifi and digital resources in community spaces. #k5evening

WHITE CENTER, Wash. — One thing the pandemic made clear is that access to internet connectivity and technology was no longer just necessary, but critical. 

In the fall, Comcast announced a plan to provide more than 1,000 Lift Zones in community centers throughout the country to help low-income people access the internet.

"How it's being utilized at each community center depends on that community space.  For some it's connecting to distance learning, for others it's remote work or critical resources that folks need to access," explained Carla Carrell, the Director of Government and External Affairs for Comcast. 

For the YWCA, it's all of those things.  The non-profit has continued to find ways to operate and offer services, whether virtually or in person. But with the constraints of social distancing, it's been especially challenging. The Lift Zones are removing barriers. 

They feature Gigabit internet speed or ultra-high-speed internet, which is 40 times faster than the typical home connection. That means you don't have to be inside the community space to access it.  

"It's a great addition to our services. I see people sitting in cars around the building. I feel so happy when I see them because we are providing something that's important to people. Everything they do now will need wifi and internet," said Mina Amin, the YWCA Greenbridge Program Director. 

Comcast put Lift Zones in 4 YWCA locations: 

•    Greenbridge Learning Center – White Center 

•    The Willows – South Seattle 

•    Somerset Village Apartments – Lynnwood 

•    Passage Point – Maple Valley 

Comcast said they chose YWCA for some lift zones because of its work in removing barriers. 

"The COVID-19 crisis put low-income families, students, people of color, and women of color at risk of being behind; and the work that the YWCA does ensures that gap is taken care of with the resources and the programs they provide," said Carrell. 

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