SPRINGFIELD, MA – Comcast announced it is awarding a total of $110,000 to three nonprofit organizations throughout Western Massachusetts to help advance digital literacy skills. These grants are part of Project UP, Comcast’s $1 billion commitment to advance digital equity through programs and community partnerships that connect people to the internet, advance economic mobility, and open doors for the next generation of innovators, entrepreneurs, storytellers, and creators.
“We understand the important role that the internet plays in helping build a future of unlimited possibilities for everyone in the community,” said Carolyne Hannan, senior vice president of Comcast’s Western New England region. “We are proud to deepen our partnership with organizations that are making it easier for people across Western Massachusetts to adopt the internet and succeed in an increasingly digital world.”
The organizations that will benefit from these grants include the following:
- The Urban League of Greater Springfield will receive $20,000 to support its digital learning lab and the programs it provides members, including basic digital literacy and internet skills training, specialty workshops, hosting the Urban League’s youth Project Ready Mentor and STEM programs, and more.
- The Boys & Girls Club of Greater Holyoke will receive $20,000 to support its MyFuture digital literacy program. MyFuture is an interactive platform that provides kids and teens with hundreds of activities to learn digital skills in a safe online environment. This grant will also provide the Club with the ability to purchase 25 desktop computers and five laptops for students in the MyFuture program to use.
- The Western Massachusetts Alliance for Digital Equity will receive $70,000 to support efforts to help residents across the Pioneer Valley get connected to the internet at home. This funding will enable the Alliance to continue the work it started in 2022 with the help of a $100,000 Comcast grant to conduct outreach around the Federal Government’s Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP). This grant will also enable the Alliance to provide laptops to partner organizations that will distribute them to households lacking the proper technology to get connected to the internet.
“Though residents have access to affordable, high-speed broadband throughout Springfield, many of our members still struggle with both adoption of services and digital skills,” said Yvette Frisby, interim president and CEO of the Urban League of Greater Springfield. “Thanks to this grant, we’re able to ensure our members and more residents of Springfield get the support they need to feel comfortable connecting to the internet and using it at home.”
In addition, Comcast is helping to drive awareness and adoption across western Massachusetts of the Federal Government’sâ€¯Affordable Connectivity Programâ€¯(ACP), which provides eligible, low-income households with a credit of up to $30 per month ($75 per month on Tribal lands) toward their internet and/or mobile service. Thanks to ACP, eligible Comcast customers can get home internet either through Comcast’s Internet Essentials or Internet Essentials Plus at no cost once the Federal credit is applied. Internet Essentials customers can also add a line of unlimited 5G cellular data ($45) through Xfinity Mobile for as little as $24.95/month, after the ACP benefit is applied.
Comcast is deeply committed to advancing digital equity in the communities it serves. Over the past three years, the company has invested $59.7 million in cash and in-kind contributions to more than 240 non-profits in Massachusetts. This investment includes digital equity programs such as Internet Essentials and Lift Zones. Since its inception in 2011, Comcast’s Internet Essentials has connected more than 620,000 low-income Massachusetts residents to broadband service at home. Additionally, Comcast has launched seven Lift Zones in Western Massachusetts to provide free, high-speed Wi-Fi service to local community centers to promote digital learning.