Comcast and Emergency Broadband Benefit Program logosThe federal government’s Emergency Broadband Benefit is a welcome, additional step in getting assistance directly to those in need during this time so they can readily access the power of the Internet to work from home, learn virtually, stay informed and entertained, and much more. We commend Congress and the FCC on their efforts to create the program and encourage continued collaboration with Internet providers.  

Comcast is participating in the program and will make the benefit available to new and existing Internet customers who qualify across all of our tiers of service, including Internet Essentials, when the program goes live. New and existing customers who are interested in participating can receive up to a $50/month credit on their Internet bill from Comcast (up to a $75 credit in Tribal areas), and can visit to see what options are available to them, determine if they qualify for the program, and register.

Comcast has a longstanding commitment to helping people connect, and stay connected, to the Internet and this new federal program will further that goal. This March, we launched our celebration of 10 years of providing low-income families with broadband access at home through Internet Essentials. Since it launched in 2011, the program has connected a cumulative total of more than 10 million people to the Internet at home, most for the first time, while maintaining its low $9.95 price throughout this decade. We also dedicated $1B over the next 10 years to help further close the digital divide and provide digital skills training and grants. The FCC specifically cited Internet Essentials as an example of a low-income adoption program that the Emergency Broadband Benefit would be suited for.

Over the past year we have doubled down on these efforts. At the onset of the pandemic in the United States, we moved quickly to ensure that the people within our service areas who were most at risk of losing connectivity had multiple options to get online:

  • We opened up more than 1.5 million public Xfinity WiFi hotspots, the largest network of its kind in the country, to everyone for free, including non-Xfinity customers.
  • We partnered with local community organizations to stand up hundreds of WiFi-connected Lift Zones across the country – with the goal of 1,000 before the end of 2021.
  • We created the Internet Essentials Partnership Program to give schools and other organizations a way to sponsor Internet Essentials service for large groups of students.
  • We offered new Internet Essentials customers free service for 60 days.
  • We stood up the Xfinity Assistance Program, which kept customers connected, eliminated late fees, and established payment plans and previous balance forgiveness.

All of these programs continue today, because access to the Internet has never been more important.

At Comcast, our commitment to connectivity has never been stronger. We encourage Federal, State, and Local governments to continue working with private sector partners on initiatives like the Emergency Broadband Benefit program to break down barriers to adoption so more people can get online. We look forward to collaborating with public, private and non-profit partners to further achieve our collective digital equity goals.