Comcast Offers Free Wi-Fi to Seattle’s Native American Community
The Lift Zones program offers free Wi-Fi at the Daybreak Star Indian Cultural Center and Labateyah Youth Home.
EVERETT, Wash.–Comcast has installed free Wi-Fi for members of Seattle’s Native American community. As part of its ongoing Lift Zones program, free WiFi has been enabled at Daybreak Star Indian Cultural Center and Labateyah Youth Home in Seattle. Lift Zones are part of Project UP, Comcast’s $1 billion commitment to reach tens of millions of people over the next 10 years with the tools, resources, and skills they need to succeed in a digital world. Project UP is Comcast’s company-wide initiative to advance digital equity, which includes Internet Essentials, the nation’s largest and most comprehensive broadband adoption program.
According to the United States Census Bureau, just over half of Native Americans with a computer living on Native American reservations or other tribal lands have access to high speed internet service. Data from the office shows a concerning difference in high-speed internet access between those who identify as Native American and those who do not. About 67% of self-identifying Native Americans have access to high-speed internet, while 82% of those who do not identify have access.
“Addressing the digital divide that Native Americans face is an issue of utmost importance for Comcast to address in Washington,” said Rodrigo Lopez, Senior Vice President of Region, Comcast Washington. “These lift zones are part of our commitment to provide free resources and Wi-Fi access, further bridging this divide for the Native American community.
Daybreak Star Indian Cultural Center is a community center for Seattle-area Native Americans and is also the headquarters of the United Indians of All Tribes Foundation. The center is located on 20 acres at Discovery Park in the Magnolia Park neighborhood of Seattle. Daybreak Star opened in 1977 and is a major hub of Native American cultural activity that provides several services to the Native community.
United Indians’ Labateyah Youth Home in Seattle provides a safe and nurturing environment for homeless youth, combining Indigenous culture with modern health and social services, and has achieved exemplary results. Labateyah’s Bridge Housing Program combines temporary crisis housing with rapid relocation support services to move young adults aged 18-24 as quickly as possible into permanent rental housing.
“Comcast’s investments in the Daybreak Star Center and Labateyah Youth Home will have a positive impact on our community in Seattle,” said Mike Tulee, Executive Director of United Indians All Tribes Foundation. “The free high-speed Wi-Fi offered in these locations will have endless immediate and long-term benefits for those who use our centers.”
“The Lift Zones that Comcast launched at the Daybreak Star Indian Cultural Center are an impressive commitment to advancing digital literacy within Seattle’s Native American community,” said Andrew Lewis, Seattle City Council, District 7. “The 17 Lift Zones they’ve launched in Seattle over the past few months have been instrumental in bridging the digital divide for our city.”
These new lift zones are part of Comcast’s ongoing commitment to supporting and uplifting Native American communities in Washington State. Comcast also recently partnered with the Muckleshoot Indian Tribe to invest nearly $3 million to expand broadband services in and around the tribe’s community campus. Additionally, Comcast is actively working with several Native American communities in Washington on new investments and additional Lift Zone sites.
Comcast can also help those living on tribal lands in Washington state connect to the Internet through programs like the federal government’s Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP), which offers a $75 per month discount on Internet service on tribal lands.