Photo caption (Left to Right): Chinese New Year Parade in January 2020, Lift Zones announcement at Boys & Girls Clubs of Fresno County, a Comcast technician examines an area after it had been burned from a wildfire, Comcast Leaders & Achievers scholarship winner, Black Joy Parade attendees in February 2020, Comcast’s accessibility leader joins a virtual LightHouse for the Blind event.
Across the company and here in California, every year Comcast invests 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 expect while ensuring access for those who need it most.
This year connectivity became even more important, with millions of people relying on Comcast to help them work and learn from home, access critical news and educational resources, stay entertained and keep in touch with family and friends during the pandemic. We took important steps to make sure we were there for our employees, communities and customers.
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. 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. Comcast announced we will continue to provide free Internet service for 60 days for new Internet Essentials customers, and free access to more than 1.5 million public Xfinity WiFi hotspots through June of 2021. We first made this offer in mid-March at the beginning of Shelter in Place and our commitment will continue well into next year.
With the announcement of our Internet Essentials Partnership Program, cities, school districts, and communities like Sacramento were able to connect large numbers of eligible students and families to the Internet at home. We also announced a multiyear program to launch more than 1,000 WiFi-connected “Lift Zones” in community centers nationwide, starting in California with the Central Valley and San Francisco.
Companywide, we built upon our commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion with a $100 million contribution 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. We also partnered locally with Opportunity Fund to help support BIPOC-owned businesses in the Bay Area through microloans.
Throughout this year we have still managed to show up for one another, celebrate our wins and look for hope in the future.
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. Wishing you and yours a safe, healthy and happy holiday season!