Comcast's Investment in Boston Area Leads to Digital Navigator Programs

Comcast Boston Digital Navigators Announcement

As the Thanksgiving holiday approaches, there is no better time to highlight a generous contribution from Comcast to nonprofit organizations in the Boston area which focus on closing the digital divide. Earlier this month, Comcast awarded more than $500,000 in grants to 17 organizations which focus on digital access and broadband adoption.

This investment is one of many that the media and technology company is making in multiple cities as part of its Project UP initiative.

  • Project UP is Comcast's 10-year, $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. Included in this initiative is Internet Essentials, the company's low-cost home broadband adoption program, and its complement, Lift Zones, which provide students and families with access to free, high-speed WiFi in community centers.
  • What Is A Digital Navigator?: A digital navigator is an individual affiliated with a trusted community organization who is trained to help people access the internet, use devices, acquire digital skills, and inform them about the federal government's Affordable Connectivity Program, which provides eligible low-income households with a credit of up to $30 per month toward their internet and/or mobile service.

What It Will Do for Boston Residents

Three of the Boston-based recipient organizations—Tech Goes Home, Central Boston Elder Services, and One Bead—will use the funds to launch and/or expand digital navigator programs to help even more students, seniors and others learn about or access the digital tools and skills needed to improve and enrich their lives. A nationwide study by the Boston Consulting Group found that one of the key components necessary to closing the digital divide is the role of these trusted digital navigators.

Tech Goes Home Dan Noyes with Beverly Moss
Dan Noyes, Co-CEO of Tech Goes Home, is pictured alongside Beverly Moss, a digital navigator who was recognized for graduating 79 digital literacy training program participants.

What Motivates Comcast

"As a media and technology company, we are uniquely positioned to help address the inequities that exist in digital access and adoption. We see this not simply as the reality—but as an imperative, and our responsibility," said Dalila Wilson-Scott, Executive Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer, Comcast Corporation and President, Comcast NBCUniversal Foundation. "Through this grant we are excited to deepen our partnerships with these local nonprofit partners and better ensure all residents across the Greater Boston region achieve digital equity." 

  • The significant investment dollars are only one part of the contribution as Wilson-Scott noted. The strong partnerships that Comcast has with numerous community-based organizations are critical to helping advance educational opportunities and economic mobility for more people.
Dalila Wilson-Scott
Dalila Wilson-Scott, Executive Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer, Comcast Corporation, announced more than $500,000 in grants to 17 organizations to support digital access and adoption for residents across the Greater Boston region.

The Impact It Will Make

"We've worked with Comcast for 12 years and have made steady progress together in connecting more Bostonians to the power of the internet," said Dan Noyes, Co-CEO of Tech Goes Home. The organization in Eastern Massachusetts connects families and community members—including senior citizens, parents and caregivers—with technology, connectivity, and digital skills services. 

Noyes continued, "Extending our partnership to now include the impact of digital navigators will help us innovate in reaching and connecting more people in need. Strong ties between our public, private and nonprofit sectors will continue to be vital as we all work collaboratively to support digital access and adoption."

In addition to providing digital navigator services to Tech Goes Home, Comcast's contributions will also provide connectivity and digital literacy training to the elder population supported by Central Boston Elder Services, laptops for students at One Bead who lack connected devices at home, and several other trainings and support to further digital equity efforts for the 14 additional grant recipients in the region. 

Comcast's Project UP efforts in Massachusetts extend well beyond the Boston region. Stay tuned this week for the next part to this story on Comcast's digital equity work in Western Massachusetts