Comcast and United Way Partner to Donate 100 Laptops to Bridge Digital Divide in City of Bloomington

Donation part of Comcast’s ongoing investment in Bloomington; partnership with city officials, community leaders to bridge the digital divide

Bloomington, Ind. (April 2, 2024) – Today, Comcast and United Way of South Central Indiana announced a donation of 100 laptops to Bloomington residents to help accelerate digital equity efforts in the community.

Laptop recipients include Bloomington families who participate in programming through the city’s Banneker Community Center – including early education and low-cost summer camp programs – and residents working with the Financial Stability Alliance, led by United Way of South Central Indiana.

“Community partnerships with organizations like Comcast and United Way are invaluable to ensuring Bloomington families can succeed in a digital world,” said Bloomington Mayor Kerry Thomson. “Achieving true digital equity means making long-term investments across all neighborhoods in the city, and we appreciate Comcast’s and United Way’s commitment and track record in helping us on our mission to achieve exactly that.”

In April 2020, the City of Bloomington conducted a Digital Equity survey to assess how residents use internet services. The survey results found a pronounced skills gap for low-income and older residents, with 50% of respondents reporting they do not have the skills they need to use the internet effectively and comfortably.

“We’re seeing the impact of the digital divide happen in real time – affordability, access, and gaps in digital skills knowledge affect many of the families who participate in the Financial Stability Alliance and Free Community Tax Service programming,” said Randy Rogers, President & CEO, United Way of South Central Indiana. “Working together with Comcast and the City of Bloomington, investments in our community like laptops and continued affordable internet access can – and will – change the lives of the individuals and families our nonprofit partners serve every day.”

Across Indiana, Comcast is working with state and local officials to invest in communities most in need of fast, reliable broadband service in unserved and underserved areas of the state.

“Increasing digital equity unleashes the potential of high-speed internet within homes and businesses,” said Craig D’Agostini, Comcast vice president, government & regulatory affairs. “We’re proud to be a partner in Bloomington’s digital equity journey, and to continue to work with community leaders to provide the latest technology in a way that benefits everyone – not just in the most affluent neighborhoods.”

This laptop donation is part of Project UP, Comcast’s 10-year, $1 billion commitment to help make digital equity a reality in communities the company serves in Bloomington and across the country. To support Indiana’s digital equity efforts, Comcast offers several programs to increase internet accessibility and skills training opportunities, including:

  • The Comcast Internet Essentials program provides low-cost, high-speed broadband service for $9.95 a month to eligible low-income households, connecting more than one million students, seniors, veterans and people with disabilities in Indiana enrolled in a variety of government assistance programs, including the National School Lunch Program, Housing Assistance, Medicaid, the Federal Pell Grant program, SNAP, SSI, WIC, VA Pension and others.
  • Comcast operates more than 20 Lift Zones across Indiana, including two in Bloomington: Boys & Girls Clubs of Bloomington Ferguson Crestmont Club and Lincoln Street Club. Lift Zones are robust Wi-Fi hotspots in safe spaces where kids and adults can access free high-speed WiFi, learn digital skills, and participate in remote learning.
  • Comcast has made more than $3 million in cash and in-kind donations to community-based organizations in Indiana over the last three years, focusing on initiatives designed to foster digital equity.