Comcast released an announcement that it’s doubling its efforts to expand its low-cost Internet Essentials program. The company will raise the internet’s download speed to 50 Mbps, double what it is currently for both new and existing customers. The rollout will begin March 1 and won’t affect the price, with the monthly cost staying at just $9.95.
The new increased speed is part of Comcast’s effort to further level out the playing field when it comes to internet equity. Reinforced by the pandemic, giving low-income households access to reliable and affordable internet has never been more of a necessity with people working from home, online school, and more.
“We’ve been on a mission to address digital inequities in under-resourced communities through Internet Essentials for a decade and there’s never been a greater need than now,” said Dave Watson, President and Chief Executive Officer, Comcast Cable. “As a media and technology company, we have a unique opportunity to provide meaningful connection to the communities we serve – whether that’s through access to the Internet, programs to support creativity and digital literacy and skills training for young people, or workforce development opportunities for adults. Our commitment has never been stronger, and we are dedicated to leveling the playing field and making a lasting impact for generations to come.”
Comcast also announced it will launch an additional 1,000 Lift Zones by the end of Dec. 2021. Lift Zones are safe, wifi-enabled locations where children can go to do their homework or login into their online school courses. Comcast has already launched a few hundred locations at community centers and Boys and Girls clubs.
“Transforming our Boys & Girls Clubs into Lift Zones has made a huge difference in the lives of the students we serve in Philadelphia,” said Lisabeth Marziello, President & CEO, Boys & Girls Clubs of Philadelphia. “Many of the kids who come to our clubs either don’t have the Internet at home or they have it, but they can’t study at home for a variety of reasons and they need somewhere to go. We’re so happy to be able to work with Comcast to give our students a safe, clean space where they can stay in school even when schools are closed.”