Family working on school assignments at an open laptop.
COVID-19 RESPONSE

Comcast Response to COVID-19

LAST UPDATED: JANUARY 5, 2022

Keeping you connected to what matters.

COVID-19 has had a tremendous impact on nearly every aspect of our daily lives. Across Comcast, NBCUniversal, and Sky, we are working hard to do everything we can to support our customers, employees, and communities during this unprecedented time.

The need for digital equity is more important than ever. Comcast is on a mission to ensure students have what they need to be successful. Over the last decade, we’ve connected a cumulative total of more than 10 million people from low-income families to low-cost, high-speed Xfinity Internet through our Internet Essentials program — the nation’s largest and most comprehensive broadband adoption program. Over the next 10 years, we will continue this work through Project UP, our $1B commitment to advance digital equity and ensure everyone has access to the resources, skills, and opportunities they need to succeed in an increasingly digital world.

  • Speed Boost for All Internet Essentials Customers: We’ve permanently increased speeds for all of our new and existing Internet customers to 50/5 Mbps across the country.

  • Public-Private Partnerships to Close the Digital Divide: Through our Internet Essentials Partnership Program, we’re providing the opportunity for school districts and other organizations to fund and connect large numbers of students to broadband access at home.
  • Creating Safe Spaces for Students to Connect: We’re partnering with non-profit partners and city leaders to identify safe spaces in community centers where students can connect to the Internet and participate in distance learning. At the end of 2021, Comcast opened its 1,000th Lift Zone and set a new goal to install 250 additional Lift Zones before the end of 2022.
  • Supporting Leaders in Digital Equity: We’re partnering with organizations that share our commitment to creating a more connected and equitable world. By supporting programs and initiatives that provide critical skills training to both kids and adults, we are helping to ensure everyone has the opportunity to shape the future. Partners to-date include the Per Scholas, Center for Black Innovation, Reboot Representation, Saga Education, Coded by Kids, and Build.

  • Internet Essentials Free to New Customers: From March 2020 through December 2021, eligible new customers received 60 days of free Internet service through Internet Essentials.
  • College Students and Educator Connectivity Support: Xfinity offered eligible university students, faculty and staff, and K-12 teachers and administrators who live in our service areas and need internet service a Visa® prepaid card worth about two months of Internet service. No upfront fees, no installation costs.

The services we provide matter more than ever as millions of people across the globe rely on their vital internet and phone connectivity to work from home, access news and educational resources, and connect with loved ones.

  • Working to Ensure 24x7 Network Health: Our engineers and technicians work around the clock to triple network augmentations, install new hardware, and upgrade network software – to expand capacity and ensure that it can meet the rapidly growing needs of its customers. The company performs over 700,000 diagnostic speed tests daily which show that, on average, it is meeting, and most times exceeding advertised speeds across all of its service areas.

32%

growth in upstream traffic and 11% growth in downstream traffic during the height of the pandemic

700K+

diagnostic speed tests performed most days during the height of the pandemic

36%

increase in mobile data use over WiFi on Xfinity Mobile during the height of the pandemic

  • Affordable Connectivity Program: Comcast is participating in the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP), an update to the Federal Government’s Emergency Broadband Benefit Program (EBB) designed to help low-income households connect and stay connected to the Internet. Comcast has been participating in the EBB program since May 2021 and will continue to make the benefit available for all tiers of Xfinity Internet service, including Internet Essentials, for those customers who meet the new ACP eligibility criteria. For more information, visit www.xfinity.com/ACP to see what options are available, determine eligibility, and sign up.
  • Emergency Broadband Benefit Program: Comcast participated in the federal government’s Emergency Broadband Benefit program, a temporary discount program available on all tiers of Xfinity Internet service, including Internet Essentials. New and existing customers who were interested in participating received up to a $50/month credit on their Internet bill from Comcast (up to a $75 credit in Tribal areas). Within the first month of the program, the Federal Communications Commission enrolled more than 2.5 million U.S. households as the need for connectivity has never been stronger.
  • Internet CommitmentsTo ensure all Xfinity customers remained connected to the Internet during the height of shelter in place orders, we made a number of commitments to support them. We created an assistance program that enabled our customers to continue using our services while keeping their bills low and ensuring they didn’t accrue large outstanding balances. Additionally, Comcast paused its data plans giving all customers unlimited data for no additional charge for four months through the end of the school year and proactively credited the accounts of customers who had already paid for unlimited data.
  • Free Xfinity WiFi For Everyone: Xfinity WiFi hotspots located in businesses and outdoor locations across the country were made available to anyone who needs them for free – including non-Xfinity internet subscribers – from March 2020 through December 2021.
  • Support For Sky Mobile and Talk Customers: All Sky Mobile customers received a 10GB data boost free of charge. Sky also announced that calls to UK landlines at any time of day would temporarily be free for existing Sky Talk customers.
  • Virtual Tools for Businesses: Comcast Business supported customers as they began to run their businesses from home, providing free trials of apps and services including virtual project management, business text messaging, and collaboration tools that will help them stay productive and secure.
  • Cybersecurity Protection: With the influx of COVID-19-related cybersecurity schemes, our team of security experts continue to work 24/7 to monitor our network using a mix of highly sophisticated technologies, threat intelligence, and proprietary AI-powered software, which helps us to detect and block hundreds of thousands of cyber events every second.

We know that access to news and information has never been more important. At the onset of the pandemic, our NBC and Sky News teams worked around the clock – setting up remote studios in basements, living rooms, and everywhere in between – to keep the world informed. At the same time, the need for in-home entertainment had never been greater, and we innovated to bring content home to customers in new ways.

  • Theatrical Movies On Demand: Universal Pictures made movies, including The Hunt, The Invisible Man, Emma, DreamWorks’ Trolls World Tour, The High Note, and The King of Staten Island available in the home within days of their global theatrical releases.
  • Free Access to NBCUniversal News Networks: NBCUniversal made MSNBC and CNBC available, in partnership with its distribution partners, to all their video customers, regardless of the packages to which they subscribe, from early March through June 2020. Additionally, NBC News Now, a 24/7 online streaming service from NBC News, featured programming drawing upon all the news resources of NBC News, MSNBC, and CNBC, free to viewers during that same time period.
  • Coronavirus Information Destination: To help keep our customers informed, we created a collection of the most current news and information on COVID-19. Xfinity customers can say, "Coronavirus" into their voice remote for the latest news and information from the CDC.

  • Keeping Xfinity Customers Informed and Entertained with On Demand Content: During the first four months of the COVID-19 pandemic, Comcast opened up the on demand catalogs from many premium networks and subscription video on demand services for all Xfinity X1 and Flex customers to enjoy, including 63,000 hours of movies and television shows.
  • Sky Go Extra for Free: Sky Go Extra was made available to all customers for free, so busy homes had access to Sky TV on three screens at the same time.

We are so proud of our teams who have shown an incredible commitment to keep the world connected, informed, and entertained during this challenging time. From our Comcast and Sky engineers, technicians, and call center representatives working to maintain vital connectivity, to our colleagues at NBC and Sky News organizations keeping our viewers informed on the latest developments, their dedication has been inspiring. While they continue to support our customers, we will continue to do everything we can to support them - so they and their families can stay safe and healthy.

  • Work from Home: During the height of the pandemic, every employee who was able to work from home did so, including thousands of call center workers. As we welcome employees back in select office locations, we’re ensuring precautions are taken to do so as safely as possible.
  • Committed Over $500 Million: Across our business, we have committed over $500 million to support our employees through continued pay and benefits where operations have been paused or impacted.

$500M

To support our employees

  • Safety: We are following CDC guidelines and are working to ensure all customer-facing employees take extra precautionary measures for their safety and our customers, such as additional sanitization practices, daily health checks, social distancing, and providing PPE to wear at work.

As COVID-19 continues to impact nearly every aspect of our daily lives, we are working to support the people and communities who are most affected and the many wonderful organizations that are on the frontlines.

  • Plan Your Vaccine: Comcast NBCUniversal launched Plan Your Vaccine, a nationwide awareness campaign, website and interactive tool that provides the latest news and information about when and where people can receive the COVID-19 vaccine. PlanYourVaccine.com features a customizable national tool for vaccination news and data, powered by the trusted journalism of the NBCUniversal News Group. The resource will help users navigate the vaccine rollout process by state, letting them know if they are currently eligible to receive the vaccine, track distribution timelines, and find the closest vaccination location.
  • COVID-19 Relief Funds: Comcast’s senior leaders – Brian Roberts, Mike Cavanagh, Dave Watson, Jeff Shell, and Jeremy Darroch – donated six months of their salaries to charities that support COVID-19 relief efforts. In addition, Sky donated £500,000 to the new COVID-19 Film and TV Emergency Relief Fund, which provides much needed grants to the many thousands of creative industry workers and freelancers who have been directly affected by the suspension of productions. The company has also supported the Red Cross, United Way, and countless other charitable organizations in various ways around the world.
  • Supporting Small Businesses: Comcast RISE, a multi-year, multi-faceted initiative was designed to help thousands of small businesses impacted by COVID-19. The program expanded to help Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) businesses at the end of November.
The Comcast RISE logo
  • NBCUniversal 'The More You Know' COVID-19 Campaign: In partnership with the White House, CDC, and Health and Human Services, NBCUniversal created a series of videos and graphics, available in both English and Spanish, to help educate people around the country about how they can reduce their risk and prevent the spread of COVID-19.
  • Telemundo PSAs: Telemundo and an array of its network talent, artists, and news personalities came together to urge audiences to stay home to stop the Coronavirus (COVID-19) spread. The videos ran on-air and across all of the network’s digital platforms including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube. They aimed to promote and help raise awareness around the #StayHome worldwide initiative within the U.S. Hispanic audience.
  • Frontline Supplies: Across the organization, we donated and distributed masks, face shields, gowns, and other supplies to healthcare and frontline workers who need them most. From TV and film sets to our parks and resorts, we are sourcing and repurposing materials to support our first responders and those most at risk of exposure.
  • Free Airtime: Comcast NBCUniversal provided free airtime across our networks for COVID-19-related public service announcements and Sky has granted free sponsorship of key channels and programs to spread the ‘Stay Home, Protect the NHS, Save Lives’ campaign.
  • Movies for Hospitals: Comcast NBCUniversal partnered with four children’s hospitals and the nonprofit Lollipop to bring special screenings of Trolls World Tour to patients in Philadelphia, New York, Los Angeles, and Miami during the film’s opening week. Through this partnership, we were able to show the movie in nearly 1,000 patient rooms. Additionally, Universal Filmed Entertainment Group provided access to the movie to 10,000 children and families across the country through a partnership with Feeding America.

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