On May 20, Comcast was awarded the Puget Sound Business Journal Corporate Citizenship Award at a virtual ceremony. We were recognized in the category of Education, for work connecting students and communities to the internet during the pandemic via our internet adoption program, Internet Essentials, and through our many Wi-Fi connected Lift Zones across the state.
You can find the full award available on the Puget Sound Business Journal webpage, here. While we have worked for a decade to provide this affordable internet access to underserved communities, the pandemic and virtual learning environment have worsened the digital divide. Access to broadband and computers, which were already difficult to access in low-income communities, is now even worse.
We were awarded for our work to address this issue, providing students and low-income homes access to the internet and computers for free or at reduced prices. To date, Internet Essentials\ has helped at least 560,000 Washington families since it began in 2011.
To address this gap during COVID, we began offering the first two months of service for free to get more folks that need it access to broadband via Internet Essentials.
We have also made a nationwide $1 billion commitment to communities in need of access to more digital resources, and, we started right here in Washington state by allocating $750,000 in funding and computing resources to help bridge the digital divide. Over the last year, we’ve contributed approximately $6 million dollars to address digital needs in our local communities.
We know there is much more work to be done in this effort, but this award is a validation of the work we’ve done to impact communities through broadband connectivity over the last decade. We will also use this award as motivation to connect even more people to internet in 2021 and beyond.