Comcast was recently named Large Business of the Year by the Greater Vineland Chamber of Commerce (GVCC) as part of their 2022 President’s Party awards celebration. As a large business – and employer – we have always maintained our commitment to the communities where our employees and customers live and work and appreciate this honor as a reflection of that.
Vineland is an important part of that commitment. When the pandemic struck and shined a light on the impact of digital inequities, we responded with a number of initiatives.
First, our technicians and engineers kept the Comcast network running for customers across the country during an unprecedented surge of use.
We also opened our Wi-Fi networks, and began offering Internet Essentials, our low cost Internet for low income families, free for 60 days. Since 2011, a cumulative total of 10 million low-income people have been connected by Internet Essentials to the power of the internet at home, including more than 25,000 in Cumberland County.
Next, we created WiFi-enabled Lift Zones across the country to ensure that students and adults could get online to participate in distance learning or remote work, do homework or look for and apply for jobs.
Locally, we equipped eight nonprofit partners as Lift Zones including Gateway Community Action Partnership (multiple locations), Cumberland Cape Atlantic YMCA, Vineland Police Athletic League, Boys & Girls Clubs of Cumberland County (multiple locations), Monarch Family Success Center and Daniel’s Den Community Center.
And as part of our $100M commitment to social justice, we launched Comcast RISE, which supports small businesses hardest hit by the pandemic, particularly those owned by people of color, and more recently, women.
Over the years, we have provided grants for numerous community organizations in Vineland – including the Boys and Girls Club of Vineland, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Cumberland and Salem Counties and the Cumberland Cape Atlantic YMCA. We have provided thousands of dollars in scholarships to local high school seniors and our employees have logged hundreds of hours of community service. We continue to drive many of our community initiatives at the local level including:
- In 2020 (pre-COVID), our Women’s Network Employee Resource Group donated a truckload of books to the YMCA for its childcare and before-and-after school locations, as well as the Vineland Historical and Antiquarian Society’s free outdoor library.
- For the past several years, our technicians have enjoyed participating in “Vehicle Days” at the local elementary schools – showing the students their equipment and talking about the work that they do.
- We’ve been proud to support Take a Vet to School Day, a History Channel initiative that Veterans Memorial Intermediate School in Vineland has participated in for a number of years prior to the pandemic.
We’ve also partnered with the federal government’s Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP), which provides up to $30 off Internet bills for low-income households, to help more people cross the digital divide. ACP can be applied to any tier of Xfinity Internet service but when applied to Internet Essentials, which costs $9.95/month or Internet Essentials Plus, which costs $29.95/month, it covers the entire cost of the program – removing cost as a barrier to internet adoption.
Our support for Vineland will continue through Project UP, our comprehensive initiative to advance digital equity and help build a future of unlimited possibilities. Backed by a $1 billion commitment to reach tens of millions of people, Project UP backs programs and community partnerships that connect people to the Internet, advance economic mobility, and open doors for the next generation of innovators, entrepreneurs, storytellers, and creators. We are proud of our impact on Vineland: past, present and future.