Across the company and here in the Greater Philadelphia Area, every year we invest in our network, our products, and the communities where we live and work. With the immense change brought on by 2020, we became more focused than ever on delivering the products and services our customers love while ensuring access for those who need it most.
This year connectivity became even more important, with millions of people relying on us to help them work from home, access critical news, educational resources, and entertainment and keep in touch with family members during the pandemic. We took immediate action in response to the crisis – and continued to extend our commitments as the pandemic dragged on. We delivered the speeds and capacity our customers needed, even as we saw an unprecedented shift in network usage.
As a company, we always look for ways to add value for our customers, and this year was no exception. We introduced new products and features like expanded 5G coverage for Xfinity Mobile, next-generation Xfinity xFi pods, free advanced cybersecurity for those with Xfinity’s xFi Gateway, additional home security options and more. And, with TV viewing surging, customers were able to unwind at home with new entertainment options, including the launches of Hulu, Spotify and NBCUniversal’s streaming service Peacock on Xfinity X1.
We also know how much our business customers like STAT Medical Transport, Center for Family Services and Nick’s Roast Beef depend on us, especially at a time when they needed to pivot to new ways of operating. We provided free and discounted access to leading third-party business applications and introduced a set of connectivity solutions for business owners with employees working from home in the pandemic. We also moved quickly to ensure essential businesses could stay connected.
While we focused on providing the best products, services and experience for our customers, we also applied our resources to make an impact in the community. We enhanced and expanded Internet Essentials, our signature high-speed Internet adoption program for low-income families. And with the announcement of our Internet Essentials Partnership Program, cities, school districts, and community organizations were able to connect large numbers of eligible students and families to the Internet at home. We’re especially proud of our commitment to our headquarters city of Philadelphia: We led the convening of philanthropic and civic leaders that launched the PHLConnectED program this past August, which now helps connect low-income K-12 Philadelphia student households to reliable internet at no cost to them for up to two years. And we announced a multiyear program to launch more than 1,000 WiFi-connected “Lift Zones” in community centers nationwide – including 26 Parks and Recreation Centers in Philadelphia and counting, plus more around the region.
Companywide, we built upon our commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion with a $100 million commitment to fight injustice and inequality against any race, ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation or ability. As part of this commitment, we recently introduced Comcast RISE, an initiative created to help strengthen and empower small businesses owned by Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) that were hard hit by COVID-19. Philadelphia and Newark are also two of ten markets that will benefit from a $1 million partnership with Per Scholas to provide virtual, tuition-free tech training to diverse talent.
None of our initiatives this year would have been possible without the talents and focus of our employees. And we’re proud that feedback from our teams helped make us one of the Philadelphia Inquirer’s Top Workplaces.
We’re grateful to be a part of your homes, your businesses, and your communities, and we’re looking forward to continuing our relationships in the year to come. For more of 2020’s Comcast NBCUniversal news, visit corporate.comcast.com/press.