Comcast today announced it invested $1 million to bring high speed broadband to Biola, Cali., a rural community in Fresno County. As part of its larger digital equity initiative in California, Comcast will also open three new Lift Zones in the Central Valley region, donate more than $100,000 to community organizations for digital literacy programs, and provide free laptops to 250 families.
Biola residential customers will now have access to all Xfinity services, including Internet Essentials, which provides high speed Internet at home for $9.95 per month (plus tax) for qualified families/individuals. Businesses in the area also will now be able to get the full suite of Comcast Business products and services.
In addition, Comcast announced it will open three new WiFi-connected community centers, called Lift Zones, one at the Biola Community Services District and two at Reading & Beyond located in Southeast Fresno. Each location will provide free WiFi access to students, families, seniors, and community members. With these three additions, Comcast now has established 13 Lift Zones in Fresno County—and a total of 150 Lift Zones throughout our California footprint. Last year, Comcast launched Lift Zones at 10 Boys & Girls Clubs locations. Through these overall investments, and by providing reliable WiFi service at multiple educational and community spaces — as well as to homes and businesses — Comcast has helped thousands in the Central Valley get online and more fully participate in the digital economy.
In addition to providing free WiFi service at the new Lift Zone locations, Comcast donated $102,000 to community partners — Fresno State Parent University received $77,000 to help residents with digital literacy training and work readiness skills and $25,000 to Reading & Beyond to provide digital literacy training to students, families, seniors, and community members.
“Access to high-speed broadband is a game changer for the residents and business owners in Biola,” said Fresno County Supervisor Brian Pacheco. “Our world has become even more dependent on the internet to learn, teach, work, find healthcare services and so many other aspects of daily life. Comcast’s new high-speed internet services, combined with these sizable financial contributions to our community, will help so many individuals, families and businesses in our region. I’m thankful to everyone who worked so hard to make it a reality.”
“The need for fast, secure internet service has never been greater than it is today, and I’m glad to see Comcast continue to invest in rural areas such as Biola to help our underserved communities,” said California State Assemblymember Dr. Joaquin Arambula. “Bold investments like these from Comcast have a significant impact. Helping families gain affordable and reliable internet access opens numerous areas of opportunity, maximizes potential, and creates lasting change.”
“I am greatly appreciative of the efforts taken by Comcast’s significant investments in our rural communities and the expansion of broadband access,” said, Executive Director of the San Joaquin Broadband Consortium Eduardo Gonzalez. “Continuing to support public private partnerships, such as Comcast and the community of Biola, to create digital equity solutions can be a model of what can be accomplished together. These partnerships will help create vital educational opportunities, workforce development skills and overall quality of life for our residents and families in the region.”
Expanding its network and broadband services to rural areas is an important part of Comcast’s overall effort to increase digital equity. Another critical element is Comcast’s Internet Essentials program, which has helped connect more than 10 million low-income people to the Internet at home. This includes more than 1.4 million residents across California, which is the number one state in terms of overall participation in the Internet Essentials program. Today’s donation is part of Project UP, Comcast’s $1 billion commitment to reach 50 million people over the next 10 years with the tools, resources, and skills needed to succeed in a digital world. For more information about Comcast’s comprehensive connectivity program for low-income Americans visit https://corporate.comcast.com/values/internet-essentials.
Lastly, Comcast is making the federal government’s Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) available for all speed tiers of Xfinity Internet service including Internet Essentials. ACP is a federal program that provides eligible customers up to a $30 per month credit toward their Internet and mobile services for the duration of the program. New and existing Xfinity Internet or Internet Essentials customers can visit www.xfinity.com/free or call 844-389-4681 for more information, to determine eligibility, and sign up.