[:en]A cable firm will present free Wi-Fi and units to twenty Oakland neighborhood facilities[:]

[:en]A cable firm will present free Wi-Fi and units to twenty Oakland neighborhood facilities[:]

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Comcast contributed $100,000, 1,000 laptops, and free web for a yr to college students and households in want who dwell within the Northern California metropolis.

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Picture: iStock/Inside Inventive Home

In an announcement on Thursday afternoon, Comcast stated its massive donation to the Metropolis of Oakland Parks, Recreation and Youth Improvement in Oakland, California is a part of its “ongoing dedication” to assist join low-income college students and households to the web “to allow them to totally take part in instructional alternatives and the digital financial system.”

Along with offering free Wi-Fi on the varied Elevate Zone areas, Comcast contributed $100,000 to twenty of the town’s parks division and gave 1,000 college students their very own free laptop computer computer systems and free web at residence for 12 months (to eligible households) via its Web Necessities program. 

SEE: COVID-19 workplace policy (TechRepublic Premium)

The pandemic make clear the necessity for complete digital fairness. When COVID-19 despatched most college students worldwide to be taught remotely, there was a section of the inhabitants that didn’t obtain the eye or concern they wanted. Many low-income college students didn’t readily have web and straightforward pc entry. Not solely have many deprived households struggled to work and home-school, however adults are sometimes nonetheless anticipated to go to work on premises and are reluctant to depart their kids at residence.

Town was appropriately cited as becoming for Comcast’s program. Oakland, adjoining to hip and upscale Berkeley, has had a troubled previous and battles damaging perceptions. Crime spiked during the pandemic and had the worst homicide rate in seven years within the metropolis, which is regionally and colloquially known as “The City.” (San Francisco is known as “The Metropolis” by Bay Space locals.) But Oakland stays wealthy in Black historical past: It was the location of the primary all-Black labor unions (Pullman porters), and is the place the Black Panthers have been based. 

“We’re thrilled to companion with the Metropolis of Oakland Parks and Recreation to put in free Wi-Fi and supply digital expertise coaching to make sure college students can keep linked with their colleges throughout this difficult time,” stated John Gauder, regional senior vice chairman of Comcast California, in a press launch. 

Olympic Gold Medal swimmer Simone Ashley Manuel appeared on the digital occasion saying the donations. The closely lauded Manuel, who attended Stanford College throughout the bay, addressed Oakland college students and burdened the significance of pursuing goals and persevering within the face of seeming adversity. 

SEE: Juggling remote work with kids’ education is a mammoth task. Here’s how employers can help (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

Lift Zones are Comcast’s multi-year program to launch greater than 1,000 Wi-Fi-connected zones in neighborhood facilities throughout america to assist college students get on-line, take part in distance studying, in addition to do their homework. Along with free hotspot connectivity, college students will probably be supplied with entry to a whole lot of hours of instructional and digital expertise content material to assist with on-line studying. 

Its Web Necessities program, which launched in 2011 has linked greater than 8 million low-income individuals to the web of their houses and donated “tens of hundreds of free laptops” throughout the nation. Comcast has invested $700 million in digital literacy, expertise coaching and consciousness applications which have reached 11 million individuals.

“When evaluating the place to implement LiftZones, Comcast works with elected officers, metropolis leaders, non-profits and neighborhood companions who assist establish websites the place they suppose we are able to take advantage of impression,” stated Lorena Hernandez, director neighborhood impression, Comcast California. “Within the close to time period, we’re targeted on connecting Okay-12 college students who want Web entry to take part in distance studying. In each case, we additionally concentrate on areas that want larger digital fairness. Long term, we wish to see seniors, the disabled, veterans and different at-risk adults additionally use the websites for digital skill-building. That is half of a bigger, ongoing dedication to assist join low-income college students and households to the Web to allow them to totally take part in instructional alternatives and the digital financial system.”

Cities work collaboratively with Comcast. Hernandez added, “We work intently with metropolis companions, non-profits and others throughout the nation to implement LiftZones.

The Web Necessities Partnership Program which launched final fall, focuses on enabling cities, faculty districts, and community-based organizations to attach massive numbers of low-income college students to the web at residence to assist distance studying. 

“The COVID-19 disaster continues to place many low-income college students vulnerable to being left behind, accelerating the necessity for complete digital fairness and web adoption applications to assist them,” Gauder stated, “Whether or not connecting to the web at residence with our Web Necessities program, or offering free Wi-Fi at neighborhood facilities, we’re serving to to make sure college students have a number of choices to get on-line.”

Comcast additionally introduced it could double the Web Necessities Partnership Program’s obtain velocity to 50 Mbps in addition to improve the upstream velocity to five Mbps for all new and current clients at no further price, $9.95 monthly, “which is similar it has been since 2011,” Hernandez stated. “With these speeds, households may have much more bandwidth for distance studying and distant work, in addition to accessing healthcare info, having fun with on-line leisure, and staying in contact with household and pals through the pandemic and past.”

Comcast continues to supply 60 days of free service to any new Web Necessities buyer who indicators up earlier than June 30, 2021.

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