Vermont Business Magazine Comcast announced today that it will extend its commitments to help people connect to the Internet during the COVID-19 pandemic as millions continue to stay home while many workplaces and schools operate virtually. Comcast will continue to provide free Internet service for the first 60 days for new Internet Essentials customers, and free access to more than 1.5 million public Xfinity WiFi hotspots, the largest network of its kind in the country, through June 30, 2021. Today’s announcement marks the third time Comcast has extended these commitments. Hotspots are scattered across Vermont.
“Our teams have worked tirelessly to ensure our network is operating at peak performance and help our customers and our communities navigate this unprecedented crisis,” said Dave Watson, Chief Executive Officer, Comcast Cable. “For nearly a decade, we’ve been on a mission to ensure students have the resources they need to be successful. We have accelerated that work during COVID-19 by partnering with public schools to provide Internet for more low-income students and by working with community centers to create safe spaces for families to connect to free WiFi through Lift Zones.”
Comcast has repeatedly committed to keeping its customers connected, and to make its services available to families and students who don’t have Internet access. These commitments are part of Comcast’s comprehensive efforts to help families and individual stay connected, and to help empower small businesses, during the COVID-19 pandemic:
- Network Investment – Comcast has invested more than $12 billion to expand and evolve its network since 2017. Since the onset of the COVID-19 crisis in the United States, network teams have worked around the clock to triple network augmentations, install new hardware, and upgrade network software – to expand capacity and ensure that it could meet the rapidly growing needs of its customers. The company performs nearly 700,000 diagnostic speed tests daily which show that, on average, it is meeting, and most times exceeding advertised speeds across all of its service areas.
- Xfinity WiFi Free for Everyone – More than 1.5 million Xfinity WiFi hotspots in business and outdoor locations – the largest public WiFi network in the country and three times larger than any other provider’s – are available to anyone who needs them for free, including non-Xfinity Internet subscribers. Since taking the unprecedented step of making all of these hotspots available for free, hundreds of thousands of non-Xfinity customers have taken advantage and usage by consumers has skyrocketed. For a map of Xfinity WiFi hotspots, visit www.xfinity.com/wifi.
- Free 60 Days of Internet Essentials and School Programs – Internet Essentials is the nation’s largest and most comprehensive broadband adoption program that provides high-speed Internet service to low-income families and has connected more than four million low-income students since its inception. New customers who sign up before June 30, 2021, will receive 60 days of complimentary service. Comcast will also continue to waive the requirement that customers not have back debt due so more families can apply. For more information, visit www.internetessentials.com. We are working with hundreds of public school districts in cities like Chicago, Atlanta, Philadelphia and Sacramento to provide free Internet service directly to students in need.
- WiFi-Connected Community Lift Zones – In September, Comcast announced a multiyear program to launch more than 1,000 “Lift Zones” in community centers across the country by working with its network of thousands of nonprofit partners and city leaders. Comcast is providing WiFi in these facilities to help students get online, participate in distance learning, and do their schoolwork. Comcast plans to have at least 200 Lift Zones installed before the end of the year.
- Comcast RISE – In October, Comcast launched Comcast RISE, a multi-year initiative created to help strengthen and empower small businesses, starting with Black, Indigenous, and People of Color owned businesses; those hardest hit by COVID-19. The Comcast RISE program will help thousands of small businesses over the next three years through grants, marketing and technology upgrades, including media campaigns and connectivity, computer and voice equipment, as well as free marketing insights to all applicants. For more information, visit www.comcastrise.com.
- Providing Free Educational Resources – In partnership with Common Sense Media, Comcast has curated thousands of hours of free educational programming into an education destination for Xfinity video customers to support remote learning for kids K-12.
For more information and updates from Comcast related to Coronavirus, visit:
Comcast Corporation (Nasdaq: CMCSA) is a global media and technology company with three primary businesses: Comcast Cable, NBCUniversal, and Sky. Comcast Cable is one of the United States’ largest high-speed internet, video, and phone providers to residential customers under the Xfinity brand, and also provides these services to businesses. It also provides wireless and security and automation services to residential customers under the Xfinity brand. NBCUniversal is global and operates news, entertainment and sports cable networks, the NBC and Telemundo broadcast networks, television production operations, television station groups, Universal Pictures, and Universal Parks and Resorts. Sky is one of Europe's leading media and entertainment companies, connecting customers to a broad range of video content through its pay television services. It also provides communications services, including residential high-speed internet, phone, and wireless services. Sky operates the Sky News broadcast network and sports and entertainment networks, produces original content, and has exclusive content rights. Visit www.comcastcorporation.com for more information.
Source: December 7, 2020 – Comcast