The Comcast Legacy
If you’ve lived in the United States within the last few decades, you’re more than likely familiar with Comcast, or have purchased their video, internet, phone or Xfinity mobile services for your home or office use at some point. After unveiling the Xfinity brand in 2010 and acquiring NBCUniversal shortly after, it’s nearly guaranteed that every American has consumed some form of Comcast’s vast variety of services. 

Today, Comcast is a global media and technology company, and one of the nation’s leading communications, entertainment, and cable product/service providers, with 168,000 employees nationwide. Additionally, Comcast’s NBCUniversal is one of the world’s leading media companies with ownership of several globally recognized platforms such as E!, Bravo, Syfy, and Universal Pictures (including the world-renowned Universal Studios theme parks). 

MnTech has been proud to boast the Twin Cities sector of this leading corporation as a valued member company since 2008. Despite Comcast’s household name status, many consumers and tech professionals are not aware of the corporation’s commitment to fighting inequities in technology through a plethora of company initiatives, from providing affordable high-speed internet plans to low-income families, to building accessible WiFi hotspots in safe places to help individuals in need connect to the internet.

Approaching digital disadvantages with empathy
The year of 2020 proved just how essential internet access is for fostering education, business, growth, connection, and equity. With the Internet Essentials plan, Comcast has committed $1 billion to help reach 50 million Americans from low-income families over the next 10 years. During the last decade, Internet Essentials has been able to provide over 8 million Americans with internet-enabled educational resources and job skills, as well as 150,00 free or subsidized computers. The broad goal of Comcast’s initiative is to supply folks with the tools, resources, connectivity, and training they need to succeed in a constantly evolving digital world. Through Internet Essentials, Comcast strives to fuel growth and create equitable opportunities in technology, media, arts, and entrepreneurship, and has partnered with cities, non-profits, and schools to foster the growth of digital equity. In addition, Americans suffering from the economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic are offered two free months of Internet Essentials access, free upgraded WiFi speeds, and debt forgiveness in an effort to keep all families safely connected. 

As part of this ongoing internet equity initiative, Comcast Twin Cities recently launched 44 additional WiFi-connected Lift Zones (bringing the total number of Lift Zones in the metro area to 74) in an effort to serve local students’ distance learning needs and help adults engage in workforce development. These internet hotspots are thoughtfully designed to provide individuals in need with WiFi access; internet connection enables folks to get online, engage in workforce development, participate in distance learning, and successfully complete homework & projects. This initiative provides free connectivity inside partner community organizations for the next three years and Comcast aims to successfully launch 1,000 Lift Zones across the United States by the end of 2021.

DE&I in action
As a dynamic leader in the tech industry, Comcast also recognizes its social responsibility to create more diverse and equitable opportunities for all. Last year, they launched Comcast RISE (Representation, Investment, Strength, and Empowerment), a multi-year commitment to support Black-, indigenous-, and people of color-owned small businesses that were hit hardest by the pandemic, civil unrest, and environmental impacts. Comcast RISE provides businesses and their owners with marketing tools, technology resources, and branding makeovers. Just last month, 19 Twin Cities businesses were awarded as Comcast RISE recipients. These organizations will receive consulting, media, and creative production services from Effectv, the advertising sales division of Comcast, or technology upgrades from Comcast Business, based on their specific needs. The program is accepting applicants through July 31. 

The challenges our communities have faced over the last 14 months have exposed systemic inequities in many areas, including within the technology space. Low-income families and students have suffered the most from digital disadvantages, and Comcast remains devoted to providing financial, educational, and professional resources to those affected.

Get involved
You can read more about Comcast’s diversity, equity, and inclusion commitments, accessibility goals, community engagement projects, and more in their 2020 Values Report. Additionally, Comcast recently launched their Internet Essentials Partnership Program, which allows for American families’ internet services to be sponsored by a third-party organization. If your company is interested in getting involved in tech equity, you can reach out to Sasha Meyer at