How America's ISPs Strive to Improve Quality of Life in the Communities They Serve

ISPs give back

For the second straight year, Americans will celebrate Thanksgiving amid the COVID-19 pandemic. But if the pandemic has revealed anything over the past 20 months, it's that community is more important than ever during these uncertain times. Cable operators and TV networks have continued to foster community and to give back to the people in their footprints in every way they can, not just through the broadband and TV services they provide but also through their charitable arms and foundations. Through grants, scholarships, donations, community building programs, and volunteer efforts, the cable industry strives to help bring American communities together by opening up opportunities for improved education, health, housing, digital training, and much more. 

In the spirit of the giving season, here is a sliver of what some of America's cable internet service providers (ISPs) do year-round to help communities grow and thrive. And stay tuned next month for how cable TV networks lead numerous partnerships, events, and foundation work to improve the lives of millions of Americans across the country. 

Charter hosts various philanthropic and engagement programs under its "Community Impact" umbrella. These include programs such as Spectrum Community Assist, Spectrum Digital Education, Spectrum Employee Community Grants, Spectrum Scholars, and Spectrum Community Investment Loan Fund. These initiatives are focused on providing community residents with digital education tools and training, discussing the benefits of broadband with the community, improving the physical state of community centers and homes nationwide within Charter's 41-state footprint, awarding students of promise and of financial need with scholarships and professional development opportunities, supporting small businesses, and improving the quality of life of underserved communities. Charter engages its employee base through an abundance of volunteer efforts to help accomplish these programs.

Comcast has a myriad of community impact programs that span the gamut of helping the U.S. gain strides across different facets of society including digital equity, diversity, equity and inclusion, and towards the environment and shaping a more sustainable future. A new program this year for Comcast was Comcast RISE, which is dedicated to providing opportunities to racially and ethnically diverse small business owners through grants and support, especially for those businesses that were severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2022, Comcast is further expanding eligibility for the program to include all women-owned businesses.

Cox continues to organize local-giving initiatives nationwide throughout its footprint by providing cash grants, in-kind donations, and producing public service announcements that support youth, technology and education, diversity initiatives, and numerous community projects. Cox Charities is its charitable arm which is employee-funded and directed, and which invested 100% of every dollar directly into the communities that the ISP serves. Cox also offers education and community investment grants to help students succeed academically, and to support nonprofit programs committed to local education and social issues. 

GCI leads philanthropic efforts across Alaska through its donations, scholarships, and grants targeted towards improving the lives of Alaskans and underserved communities. The ISP gives to nonprofits focused on the cultural arts and innovation, health, diversity and inclusion, and mental health, and awards scholarships to Alaskan students to broaden their opportunities. Notably, GCI supports mental wellness through its suicide prevention fund and through its support to local projects and organizations that strive to reduce the rates of suicide across the state by spreading awareness about the importance of mental health. 

Mediacom continues its commitment to promoting education within its communities through scholarship programs and to lifting the interests of minority groups in media through its partnership with the Emma Bowen Foundation. Additionally, the ISP offers internship opportunities to local students to assist them in gaining professional experience and to inspire career aspirations. Mediacom also partners with communities to host food drives, blood drives, and "adopt a unit" drives to assist soldiers in Afghanistan with supplies and holiday cheer. And, the company contributes to breast cancer causes through Lee Denim Day. 

Midco's foundation funds and works with nonprofits, local governments, and schools within its service areas twice a year to support youth and family services, violence intervention, housing services, schools, and homeless shelters. The ISP's charitable arm awards grants to projects that support community facility improvements, equipment and programs, and special projects within communities in its service area. Midco has also donated to area food banks in its efforts to help with rising food insecurity issues.