Comcast Pledges $1 Billion

Comcast Commits $1 Billion to Bridge America’s Digital Divide

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Comcast has announced its plan to spend $1 billion over the next decade to help low-income Americans access the internet as the world becomes increasingly dependent on online services.

Comcast’s initiative will go towards wiring community centers with WiFi. It will also be used to donate laptops and computers, award grants to nonprofits working with low-income Americans, and towards its Internet Essentials program, a low-cost broadband service. The program offers home internet service to low-income customers for $9.95 a month.

“Ten years is a remarkable milestone, signifying an extraordinary amount of work and collaboration with our incredible community partners across the country,” said Dave Watson, Chief Executive Officer, Comcast Cable, in a statement. “Together, we have been able to connect millions of people to the power of the Internet at home, and to the endless opportunity, education, growth, and discovery it provides. Today, we are rededicating ourselves to this mission to ensure that the next generation of students in America has the tools, resources, and abilities they need to succeed in an increasingly digital world.”

Comcast is not the first major telecoms provider to consider low-income families.

Last year, Spectrum offered households with students (K–12 and college) and educators free broadband internet for 60 days with any plan up to 100 Mbps. The offer was in response to the pandemic, which saw many school systems shut their doors and provide online classes for their students.

Comcast did the same. It also opened its expansive network of business and outdoor WiFi hot spots (known as Lift Zones) for public use, partnering with school districts to provide internet access to adults and children who are homeless and may not have permanent access to an address. The offer is available until June 30, 2021.

Families who are already receiving federal benefits through programs such as SNAP, Medicaid or WIC are eligible for Internet Essentials.

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