Comcast says that its ongoing DOCSIS 3.1 and fiber network rollouts to businesses will position its business division to get a great portion of the competitive data market long enjoyed by the traditional telcos.
Michael Cavanagh, CFO of Comcast, told investors during the third-quarter earnings call that a large portion of the business revenues is tied to the broadband and fiber-based services like Ethernet it delivers over its network.
“The significant majority of [Comcast’s] business services revenue is centered on connectivity, and we have even more runway to increase share in our data product as we move to gigabit speeds throughout our footprint with the deployment of DOCSIS 3.1 and as we continue to push fiber deeper in our network,” Cavanagh said during the earnings call, according to a Seeking Alpha transcript.
Comcast’s Business Internet 1 Gbps service is already available in much of the Northeastern, Mid-Atlantic and Central United States, and will be available to the entire national Comcast service area by the end of 2017.
At the same time, the cable MSO has continued to expand its fiber network into more business locations.
In June, Comcast Business completed a nearly $1.7 million fiber-optic network expansion project in downtown New Haven, Connecticut. This expansion enabled Comcast Business to extend Ethernet capacity to over seven businesses located between Tower Lane and State Street, giving companies a competitive edge as well as the ability to attract new employees.
But network connectivity is only one part of Comcast Business’ growth plans. The service provider has continued to expand its business services portfolio with an array of new services, including managed Wi-Fi and SD-WAN.
In September, Comcast Business debuted its SD-WAN product that it plans to offer in conjunction with its 1 Gbps DOCSIS 3.1 broadband service for businesses.
The SD-WAN service will be delivered on the Comcast Business ActiveCore SDN platform, signaling the cable industry’s push into network virtualization. ActiveCore delivers new services and network changes via software rather than through individually managed and customized hardware. The platform features an embedded orchestration capability, allowing it to seamlessly deliver and manage multiple virtualized network functions (VNF).
“We continue to augment growth through business applications and services right on top of our core connectivity business,” Cavanagh said. “These include our voice, video surveillance and advanced Wi-Fi products, and additionally, as we grow into the midsized business and enterprise segments, our recently launched SD-WAN product and our managed enterprise solutions business will help unlock new opportunities to serve branch offices of larger multisite businesses."
The third quarter was another time of growth for Comcast Business. Comcast reported double-digit growth with revenue increasing 12.6% to $1.6 billion during the quarter, a factor the cable MSO said was driven by customer growth.
During the quarter, the service provider added 31,000 business customer relationships and grew revenue per business customer relationship by 5%.