In a joint virtual event, Comcast’s national executives today announced expansion efforts to help Utahns gain access to the Internet and increase digital equity. For thousands of Utahns, it was a time of celebration!
“Utah is one of the most collaborative states we work with across the country when it comes to helping its citizens gain digital equity,” said J.D. Keller, senior vice president, Comcast Mountain West Region. “Leaders from the state, county and city are working together as we open more free WiFi Lift Zones, connect more families to the Internet at home, and increase speeds for businesses and families across the state.”
The announcement was part of Project UP, Comcast’s comprehensive initiative to advance digital equity and help build a future of unlimited possibilities; and it coincides with Comcast’s 10th anniversary of its Internet Essentials program, which has connected a cumulative total of more than 10 million people to the Internet at home – most for the very first time.
Going forward, Internet Essentials will now include all Federal Pell Grant recipients within its service area, which will enable even more students to stay connected as they continue to pursue degrees at colleges, universities, and technical schools.
“We are delighted to work with outstanding corporate partners, such as Comcast, as we connect more Utahns to the Internet,” said Utah Governor Spencer J. Cox. “Utah is regularly lauded for its innovative vision in numerous categories, and increasing our digital access helps everyone, including families, students, and businesses.”
Comcast’s top priorities are connecting people to the Internet at home, equipping safe spaces with free WiFi, and working with a robust network of nonprofit community organizations, city leaders, and business partners to create opportunities for low-income Utahns.
Comcast’s $1 billion national commitment will include investments in several critical areas, including additional support for Lift Zones, which establish WiFi-connected safe spaces in 35 community centers in Utah and 1,000+ community centers nationwide for students and adults by the end of 2021; new laptop and computer donations; over $100,000 in digital equity grants for local Utah nonprofit community organizations to create opportunities for low-income Utahns – particularly in media, technology, and entrepreneurship; and continued investment in the company’s landmark Internet Essentials program.
“Comcast’s investment in Utah’s digital connectivity future is remarkable,” said Gov. Cox. “Helping to close the digital divide so everyone has Internet access in Utah is paramount.”
The governor’s remarks align perfectly with ours.
“Whenever we can help our community neighbors connect to reliable, high-speed Internet access, we work to do that,” said Keller. “It helps keep us all moving forward one family, one organization, and one community at a time.”