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COVID-19 RESPONSE

Comcast Response to COVID-19

LAST UPDATED: DECEMBER 7, 2020

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.

Outline of a home

SUPPORTING OUR PEOPLE
We have committed $500 million to support our employees where operations have been closed or impacted, made work from home options as broadly available as possible, and enhanced safety measures for customer-facing employees.

Outline of an Xfinity xFi Advanced Gateway

KEEPING CUSTOMERS CONNECTED
Keeping the internet accessible and reliable is more important than ever. Our technology and engineering teams are working tirelessly to support our network operations 24/7 to ensure network performance and reliability.

Laptop displaying the Internet Essentials logo

OFFERING INTERNET ESSENTIALS FREE TO NEW CUSTOMERS
Eligible new customers will receive 60 days of free Internet service through Internet Essentials, the nation’s largest, most comprehensive internet adoption program for low-income households.

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CONNECTING STUDENTS AND FAMILIES
We’re partnering with non-profit partners and city leaders to create 1,000+ safe spaces where students can connect to the Internet and participate in distance learning.

The Comcast Rise logo

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.

Laptop displaying the Internet Essentials logo

INCREASING ACCESS TO NEWS & INFORMATION
Our NBC and Sky News teams are working around the clock to keep the world informed and we’re bringing that news and information to more people than ever.

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 four million students 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.

 
  • Supporting College Students and Educator Connectivity Needs: Xfinity is offering 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.
  • Xfinity and Sky Educational Resources: Xfinity, in partnership with Common Sense Media, created an education destination for Xfinity video customers to give children and parents quick and easy access to educational programming by grade level. Sky added a 'Learn at Home' collection on Sky Kids to support families with educational content during school closures and launched The Edit, a digital version of its Sky Academy Studios made available for free to schools across the UK.

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 micro-monitor our network reliability and performance constantly, running 700k+ diagnostic speed tests most days. From early March to late May, we saw a 32% increase in upstream traffic and 11% increase in downstream traffic, still within the overall capacity of our network. Our network continues to deliver to support the capacity our customers need while they are working, learning, and connecting from home.

32%

growth in upstream traffic and 11% growth in downstream traffic.

700K+

diagnostic speed tests performed most days

36%

increase in mobile data use over WiFi on Xfinity Mobile

  • Free Xfinity WiFi For Everyone: Xfinity WiFi hotspots located in businesses and outdoor locations across the country are available to anyone who needs them for free – including non-Xfinity internet subscribers – through June 30, 2021.
  • 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.
  • 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 is supporting 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. Our NBC and Sky News teams are working 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 has never been greater. We are innovating to bring content home to customers in new ways as well as expanding free access to traditional subscription-only content.

  • 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 have 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.

Universal, Dreamworks, Focus features, and Peacock logos
  • Theatrical Movies On Demand: Universal Pictures has made its movies available in the home within days of their global theatrical releases. Titles including The Hunt, The Invisible Man, Emma, DreamWorks’ Trolls World Tour, The High Note, and The King of Staten Island are now available to rent on a wide variety of the most popular on demand services worldwide, including Xfinity and Sky.
  • Peacock Launches Nationally: Peacock, NBCUniversal’s premium, ad-supported subscription streaming service, offers viewers a world-class collection of the best live and on demand programming from NBCUniversal and beyond, including 15,000+ hours of movies and series. The service launched nationally in July, while millions of Xfinity customers, who receive Peacock Premium at no additional cost on their X1 and Flex devices, enjoyed an early preview starting in April.
  • Keeping Xfinity Customers Informed and Entertained with On Demand Content: On both X1 and Flex, Comcast continues to bring its Xfinity customers the widest range of on demand content from a growing collection of broadcast, cable and premium networks, as well as both subscription-based and ad-supported streaming services. During special events and promotions, Comcast will often open up the on demand catalogs from many premium networks and subscription video on demand services for all Xfinity X1 and Flex customers to enjoy. For example, 63,000 hours of movies and television shows were made available for free during the course of the first four months of the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Inclusive Entertainment Experiences: There are a number of ways for customers with disabilities to navigate and access information and entertainment independently while at home. Say “Accessibility” into the X1 or Flex voice remote to view collections of described and captioned content and manage accessibility settings. The X1 and Flex Talking Guide will announce on-screen text and options as you browse the channels. And the Xfinity X1 Eye Control remote technology can help customers with physical disabilities use their eyes to change the channel, set a recording, search for a show, and more.
  • 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: Every employee who is able to work from home is doing so, including thousands of call center workers. For certain business lines, we implemented flexible attendance policies for a period of time as we transitioned to new processes, including work from home. Unpaid personal leave is available for all employees impacted by COVID-19.
  • Committed $500 Million: Across our business, we have committed $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 temperature and symptom checks, social distancing, and providing masks to wear at work.
  • Paid Leave: Comcast is offering an additional 40 hours of PTO through the end of the year for employees, who, because of COVID-19, are dealing with childcare issues or caring for a high-risk immediate family or household member. In addition, we are providing 80 hours of specially established Paid Administrative Leave for any employee who is directly impacted by COVID-19.

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.

  • 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 have 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 is providing 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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