Comcast takes on new opportunities in mid-size businesses, and international customers

Sept. 7, 2023
The cable MSO is investing in new growth prospects beyond its initial small business customer base.

Comcast Business continues to make gains in its business services segment, showing that cable is a growing threat to the telcos.

Brian Roberts, CEO and chairman of Comcast, told investors during the Goldman Sachs 22nd Annual Communacopia Conference that it is expanding its reach and capabilities beyond the small to medium business segment.

In 2021, the cable MSO purchased a Plano, Texas-based Masergy, an early pioneer in software-defined networking (SDN) and cloud platforms for global enterprises. The acquisition accelerated Comcast Business’s growth, serving large and mid-size companies, particularly U.S.-based organizations with multi-site global operations, and bolsters its overall channel distribution strategy.

“We've reached a certain level in the small businesses, but we are also eying medium and enterprise customers and international customers,” he said. “We've acquired Masergy, which has been integrated well, and the team is excited about the capability extension.”

While Comcast will make acquisitions it deems fit for its business solutions segment, the service provider will continue to allocate capital to expand its fiber network that serves larger businesses in its footprint.

“We're investing in fiber,” Roberts said. “We’re hopeful that that business will help power our growth for years.”

Out-of-region opportunities
Cable operators have traditionally stuck to serving customers in their territory.

While Roberts did not cite any specific strategy, he mentioned his work with other cable operators and large carriers.  

“I don't know about with -- exactly with infrastructure,” he said. “Still, we got a great relationship with the other cable operators and AT&T and network operators that work for data centers and redundancy and private networks and the sophistication and everything we just talked about broadband and what it means to your business.”

He added that its ongoing relationships with other companies and investments could help its business customers better take advantage of new opportunities in AI and other services that make their businesses run more smoothly.  

“What will it mean to computing speeds and all the innovation coming powered by this next generation of computer-driven AI to companies wanting to communicate quickly,” Roberts said. “We're the solutions company.”

Ethernet, fiber and SD-WAN gains

As it continues to advance in the business segment, Comcast business is making ongoing gains to fulfill businesses’ desire for Ethernet, fiber and SD-WAN services. During the second quarter business Services Connectivity revenue rose 4% to $2.3 billion due to increased revenue from small, medium-sized and enterprise customers.

The cable operator continues to progress in enhancing its fiber network reach into more business buildings.

Comcast was ranked fifth on Vertical Systems Group’s 2022 U.S. Fiber Lit Buildings LEADERBOARD. According to the research firm, fiber providers qualify for this benchmark with 15,000 or more on-net U.S. fiber-lit commercial buildings.

Likewise, Comcast also is making gains in Ethernet and SD-WAN. The cable MSO was ranked fifth on VSG’s Mid-2023 U.S. Carrier Ethernet LEADERBOARD and second on the SD-WAN services LEADERBOARD. Comcast trailed only AT&T in a list that included Verizon, Hughes, Lumen and Windstream. Each service provider has four percent (4%) or more of the billable Carrier Managed SD-WAN customer sites installed in the U.S. as of June 30, 2023.

For related articles, visit the Business Topic Center.

For more information on high-speed transmission systems and suppliers, visit the Lightwave Buyer’s Guide.

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About the Author

Sean Buckley

Sean is responsible for establishing and executing the editorial strategies of Lightwave and Broadband Technology Report across their websites, email newsletters, events, and other information products.

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