Comcast Remains Dedicated to Closing the Digital Divide

By Broderick Johnson
Apr 25, 2024 10:30 AM ET
Two smiling children looking at an open laptop while sitting on an outdoor table.

For more than a decade, Comcast has been dedicated to closing the digital divide. Achieving digital equity is at the heart of the work we do because we know how life-changing a reliable home Internet connection can be in today’s digital economy.

Through the federal government’s Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP), more than 23 million households across America – nearly 50% of which are military families – are able to get online at little to no cost. Unfortunately, the ACP is only fully funded through April and is expected to lapse by May. This puts at risk all the progress we have made in keeping Americans connected to this critical resource.

As I said in January, we believe that Congress and the White House should find a way to extend the ACP so people can stay connected and benefit from the Internet for education, healthcare, workforce development, veterans’ assistance, and so much more.

At Comcast, we remain committed to doing our part to help including:

Partial ACP Credit – To help ease the transition, all ACP customers will receive a federally funded ACP credit of $14 on their Xfinity bills ($35 on Tribal lands) for the month of May as the government program winds down.

Internet Essentials – We continue to offer Internet Essentials – our reliable, low-cost high-speed Internet service – for $9.95/month. That is the exact same price it has been since 2011, when it was first introduced, despite inflation, while speeds have increased five times for no additional cost. Millions of Americans have been connected to Internet Essentials, which has become the largest and most comprehensive private-sector Internet adoption program in the country. All current ACP customers are eligible to switch to Internet Essentials tiers during this transition.

Internet Essentials+ – For customers looking for even faster speeds, Internet Essentials Plus offers double the speed – up to 100 Mbps – for $29.95/month.

Xfinity Mobile Savings – For those looking to save money on their monthly bills, we’re also offering discounts to customers who bundle their Internet service with Xfinity Mobile. New Internet Essentials Plus customers can take advantage of a free line of Xfinity Mobile for one year. Additionally, current customers enrolled in ACP with Comcast who add Xfinity Mobile can get an additional free unlimited line for one year, potentially saving them hundreds of dollars per year.

NOW WiFi Pass – For individuals and families on the go, Comcast has introduced NOW WiFi Pass, which connects them to our 23 million+ Xfinity WiFi hotspots nationwide. Now through June 30, customers can get online for $10/month with no additional equipment required, no long-term commitments, or any cancellation fees.

Lift Zones – Individuals, whether they’re our customers or not, can access one of our more than 1,250 WiFi-connected Lift Zones across the country. Working with our extensive network of nonprofit partners, Lift Zones provide free Internet access in neighborhood locations like nonprofits, community centers, gyms, and parks and recreation facilities. Additionally, many locations have Digital Navigators – trusted and trained individuals who help them get online and learn digital skills.

Internet Essentials Partnership Program – Our Internet Essentials Partnerships Program (IEPP) provides the opportunity for school districts and other organizations to fund and connect large numbers of students and families to broadband access at home. Since 2020, IEPP has collaborated with hundreds of entities across the country to help connect K-12 students.

Partnerships and Project UP – We also continue to work with our network of thousands of nonprofit partners nationwide who are on the front lines of closing the digital divide. We’re investing in organizations that train thousands of trusted Digital Navigators who connect people to the Internet; and partners who advance economic mobility and open doors for the next generation of innovators, entrepreneurs, storytellers, and creators. This is all backed by Project UP, our $1B commitment to advance digital equity and help build a future of unlimited possibilities.

While we have all these products and services available today, we will continue to create even more packages and options to offer our customers and the communities we serve. We’ve made so much progress closing the digital divide and we remain committed to doing our part to ensure more Americans stay connected and that no one gets left behind.

Broderick D. Johnson is Executive Vice President, Public Policy, and Executive Vice President, Digital Equity for Comcast Corporation.