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RICHMOND, Va., Oct. 25, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Comcast today announced a $25,000 grant to support CodeVA and its free computer science programs for city students and teachers, along with a donation of 500 free laptops, which will be distributed to Richmond Public Schools students and resident seniors across the city. The grant and donation are part of marking the company's 10th anniversary of its Internet Essentials program, which is the nation's largest and most comprehensive broadband adoption effort for low-income households. Since 2011, it has connected a cumulative total of 360,000 individuals in Virginia.
"This is an incredible day for the City of Richmond, and I want to thank Comcast for its long-standing commitment to digital equity," said Cynthia Newbille, President of the Richmond City Council. "This grant will help us connect even more residents to the internet so they're able to obtain the digital skills that are critical to succeed in today's digital world."
Beyond the financial grant and laptop donation, Comcast is focused on increasing broadband adoption in Richmond through Lift Zones, which provide free WiFi access within select recreation centers, community centers, senior centers, and public housing computer labs. In addition, the company offers hundreds of hours of free digital skills training to residents – allowing more students, seniors, veterans, and others to learn how to get online for distance learning, job hunting, telehealth services, and more.
"This generous laptop donation from Comcast will be a real difference maker in the lives of many of our students and their families," said Cheryl Burke, Chairwoman of Richmond Public Schools Board of Education. "Internet connectivity, devices and digital literacy are must-haves to remain competitive in today's world, and we're looking forward to our continued partnership with Comcast."
Comcast is also supporting the Emergency Broadband Benefit (EBB), a temporary benefit program from the federal government designed to help qualified low-income households with a credit of up to $50 per month toward their Internet service until the program's funding runs out. For Comcast Internet Essentials customers, household participation in the EBB would eliminate any costs for the Internet Essentials service.
"Our goal is to get every resident of Richmond connected to the Internet," said Antoine Banks, Director of Government Affairs for Comcast's Beltway Region. "There is no quick fix to closing the digital divide, but we have been at this for 10 years with Internet Essentials and will continue to work with the City of Richmond, Richmond Public Schools and our local non-profit partners to drive internet adoption, improve digital literacy and ultimately create a connected city."
Project UP & Comcast's $1 Billion Commitment to Advancing Digital Equity
Comcast has been connecting more people to the Internet and the technology they need to participate and excel in an increasingly digital world for over a decade. Looking toward the next ten years, Comcast is building on that foundation and expanding its impact through Project UP, a comprehensive initiative to advance digital equity and help build a future of unlimited possibilities. Backed by a $1 billion commitment to reach 50 million people, Project UP encompasses the programs and community partnerships across Comcast, NBCUniversal, and Sky that connect people to the Internet, advance economic mobility, and open doors for the next generation of innovators, entrepreneurs, storytellers and creators. For more information on Project UP and the latest news on efforts to address digital inequities, including the recent expansion of the Comcast RISE Investment Fund to provide millions in grants to small business owners of color and investment in research to increase diversity in the technology and digital fields, visit https://corporate.comcast.com/impact/project-up.
About Internet Essentials
Internet Essentials is Comcast's signature digital equity initiative and the nation's largest and most comprehensive broadband adoption program. In 10 years, it has helped connect 10 million low-income Americans to broadband Internet at home, most for the very first time. It has a comprehensive design that addresses each of the three major barriers to broadband adoption. This includes multiple options to access free digital literacy training in print, online, and in person; the option to purchase a heavily subsidized, low-cost Internet-ready computer; and low-cost, high-speed Internet service for $9.95 a month, plus tax. The program is structured as a partnership between Comcast and tens of thousands of school districts, libraries, elected officials and nonprofit community partners. For more information about Internet Essentials and Comcast's commitment to education and digital equity, please visit https://corporate.comcast.com/education. To apply, visit www.internetessentials.com or call 1-855-846-8376 for English or 1-855-765-6995 for Spanish.
About Comcast Corporation
Comcast Corporation (Nasdaq: CMCSA) is a global media and technology company that connects people to moments that matter. We are principally focused on broadband, aggregation, and streaming with 57 million customer relationships across the United States and Europe. We deliver broadband, wireless, and video through our Xfinity, Comcast Business, and Sky brands; create, distribute, and stream leading entertainment, sports, and news through Universal Filmed Entertainment Group, Universal Studio Group, Sky Studios, the NBC and Telemundo broadcast networks, multiple cable networks, Peacock, NBCUniversal News Group, NBC Sports, Sky News, and Sky Sports; and provide memorable experiences at Universal Parks and Resorts in the United States and Asia. Visit www.comcastcorporation.com for more information.
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SOURCE Comcast NBCUniversal