Comcast Texas, the Houston area’s largest internet service provider, will commit more than $1 million to shrink the local digital divide this year by supporting more than 60 organizations and programs that help people connect to the Internet, learn digital skills, and climb the economic ladder. The investment is part of Comcast’s Project UP – a comprehensive $1 billion initiative to advance digital equity across the nation and help build a future of unlimited possibilities.
KPRC 2 News' Zachery Lashway recently highlighted how challenges to Internet access and adoption impact the digital divide in Greater Houston. Watch the NBC affiliate's story from spring 2023.
To help fuel economic mobility locally this year, a large portion of Comcast Texas’ $1 million investment will go to area nonprofit organizations to fund community programs with the following focus: Connectivity & Adoption, Digital Skills in the Workforce, and Entrepreneurship.
Connectivity & Adoption
Connectivity programs equip individuals, families and community partners with the right tools and resources to take advantage of the Internet. Adoption programs teach individuals the skills needed to increase competency and confidence in technology in order to use it proficiently.
Digital Skills in the Workforce
Over 90% of jobs available today require digital skills, yet nearly one-third of US workers lack opportunities to build these skills. Digital skills programs teach individuals the tech skills needed to land a job and stay competitive in the changing marketplace.
Entrepreneurship programs focus on helping people build digital skills to launch and grow their businesses.“These investments are part of Comcast Texas’ ongoing commitment to provide people with the digital tools needed to succeed in this ever-connected world,” said Ralph Martinez, Comcast Texas’ Regional Senior Vice President. “As we expand our next-generation network across southeast Texas, we’re here to be good neighbors. We’re here to support and uplift the communities we’re honored to do business in by teaming up with trusted partners to invest in programs that make a difference.”
According to the 2020 U.S. Census Bureau’s American Communities Survey, one in ten households, or 687,086 households, in the greater Houston area do not have an internet subscription or do not have a computer. A recent Boston Consulting Group study supported by Comcast revealed digital navigators hold the key to reduce digital and socioeconomic inequities. The study revealed those who received hands-on help were more likely to use the Internet to improve their lives. Study highlights include:
- 1 in 3 reported obtaining new employment with a higher income
- More than 65% now have Internet access or a connected device at home
- Almost half now have better healthcare
- 40% received support with basic needs like food, rent and housing
The first round of Comcast Texas’ 2023 grant funding and other support to local organizations will be announced in May with more announcements made throughout the year. Additional support will be considered for local organizations that raise awareness about connectivity programs like Internet Essentials provides affordable home Internet for qualifying households ($9.95/mo for up to 50 Mbps, or $29.95/mo for up to 100 Mbps) — as well as low-cost computers, free WiFi hotspots, and free Internet training. The federal Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) provides qualified households with a credit of up to $30/mo towards internet and mobile services.