More than 20 community locations across Colorado’s Front Range are being equipped with Comcast Wi-Fi in the hopes of helping thousands of low-income students participate in remote learning, according to an announcement Tuesday from Denver Mayor Michael Hancock, Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser and the telecommunications giant.
“Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, students without access to broadband and computers experienced a homework gap that posed barriers to educational opportunity,” Weiser said in a news release. “Now, students need access to simply participate in the remote learning environment.”
The Wi-Fi areas, called “lift zones,” are free and expected to be operational by the end of the year with the intention of utilizing them when sites are open and people can gather in a socially-distanced fashion, the news release said.
Locations include local parks, recreation centers, nonprofit sites and other community centers in Denver, Aurora, Colorado Springs, Lakewood, Loveland, Pueblo and in Weld County. More sites are expected to be created through 2021. A full list of the sites can be found on the Comcast Colorado website.
The sites are expected to remain open for three years.
“Giving students a safe place at city of Aurora recreation centers to access the Wi-Fi they need is essential for ensuring Aurora’s kids continue to learn despite the pandemic,” said Aurora Mayor Mike Coffman. “We are grateful to Comcast for partnering with us on this valuable service to the community.”
In addition to the lift zones, Comcast helped with $150,000 worth of grants to better support internet safety and digital literacy programs in Colorado.
The grants include purchasing laptops for students and funding internet safety programs for Denver Public Schools and Aurora Public Schools.
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