Comcast Business is partnering with the City of Chester to help revitalize the town’s business corridor by investing nearly $1 million to extend its internet infrastructure to its main street and launching the Comcast RISE Investment Fund, which will provide $1 million dollars of grants to one hundred Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC)-owned, small businesses located in Philadelphia or the City of Chester.
This proactive extension of the Comcast Business network brings its affordable suite of connectivity services to dozens of businesses for the first time while benefiting hundreds more. While the network already serves thousands of residents and businesses in the area, this concentrated expansion deploys more than 2.5 miles of infrastructure in and near Chester’s main business district, which has experienced a redevelopment boom in recent years. New and existing area businesses will now have access to advanced broadband services.
Significant work has already begun to provide high-performance internet, Ethernet, television, advanced voice and other solutions to many businesses and organizations, and additional network expansions will continue into the second quarter of 2021. With this latest project, Comcast Business has now invested more than $85 million in proactive network expansions in the region since 2014, including more than $30 million invested in the City of Philadelphia.
One company that has supported the infrastructure expansion is Tandem Real Estate Holdings. Ra-Tah Johnson and his co-founders Orlando “Jahlil Beats” Tucker and David Elliott saw an opportunity to develop the Chester area and make an impact on the community. Over the past four years, Johnson and his team have helped to revitalize the business district, attracting businesses and retail stores, and now residents to work, live and play in the Avenue of the States area.
“Without technology, it’s impossible to have access to the outside world. Especially in the COVID era, the success of a business is dependent on being online. Technology is now one of the basic needs any business must have to survive,” said Ra-Tah Johnson, Co-Founder, Tandem Real Estate Holdings. “I am proud to have played a role in bringing more businesses and people to Chester, but this wouldn’t be possible without support and investment from Comcast Business. The technology Comcast Business brings to our main street will continue to drive the growth of these businesses and our community.”
Capable of delivering up to 1 Gigabit of network capacity to meet the needs of small and medium-sized businesses, or 100 Gigabits-per-second for larger enterprises, Comcast Business will give the local businesses – including shops, restaurants and other organizations – the ability to bring new customers online more quickly. The expansion will also provide a solution for businesses that require large amounts of bandwidth looking to link multiple sites or branch locations or plan to connect their offices to a third-party data center.
“This administration has focused much of its attention on revitalization, especially in our downtown area/Central Business District,” said Thaddeus Kirkland, Chester City Mayor. “We’re thrilled Avenue of the State businesses will now have access to Comcast’s network, which is critical for businesses as bandwidth demands continue to grow at a relentless pace. Comcast’s investment of its fiber network demonstrates its commitment to businesses across our region and makes it just another reason that the City of Chester and Delaware County are great places to do business – and great places for businesses.”
This expansion will provide local organizations of all sizes with access to a comprehensive portfolio of products and services to help meet the day-to-day demand needs now and prepare for future requirements as well. This includes fast business WiFi for employees and guests, cybersecurity solutions, 4G LTE backup, business TV and more.
“Advanced, high-performance networking is critical to the success of today’s businesses as they are increasingly expected to move beyond fast to exceed their customers’ expectations and remain competitive. Our investment in the City of Chester underscores our commitment to driving business growth in the region and boosting the local economy by bringing the company’s fiber network within reach for hundreds of offices, restaurants and retailors in the area,” said Michael Louden, regional vice president for Comcast Business.
In an additional effort to support local businesses, Comcast also announced it is offering $1 million of grants to Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC)-owned, small businesses in Philadelphia and the City of Chester through the Comcast RISE Investment Fund. Beginning on March 1 through March 14, eligible businesses in Philadelphia and Chester, in addition to Atlanta, Chicago, Detroit, and Houston, can apply for a $10,000 grant at www.ComcastRISE.com. A total of 100 grants in Philadelphia and Chester, or 500 grants overall, will be awarded in May 2021. The Investment Fund is the latest extension of Comcast RISE, the multi-year, multi-faceted initiative launched in October 2020 that initially focused on black-owned, small businesses and then extended to BIPOC-owned to help those hardest hit by COVID-19.