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Comcast Business Services (branded as Comcast Business Class) has been working to ramp up bandwith to selected commercial districts within its service footprint, beyond the capabilities of coaxial cable to the premise. This has included using Ethernet over coax (EoC) to the premise over Docsis 3.0 in some locations, which can increase speed by a few times more than basic Docsis 2.0 coaxial, and what appeared to be limited, targeted use of fiber to the premise (FTTP) in certain situations (which could multiply potential speeds a few times more). Past deployments have included Boston, Seattle, and San Mateo, CA, as I wrote in late August, although these were quite limited in scope.
Now Comcast Business Class seems to stepping up the expansion, with an increased emphasis on fiber. This past week it announced that in Houston that it was expanding its fiber network there to 18 downtown buildings, containing a target market of roughly 3,000 new small and mid-size business customers. The company said it expects the expansion to be completed by early 2013. This is fiber directly to the building we are talking about. Comcast also said it was expanding its fiber networks in Chicago and Philadelphia.
So I asked a spokesperson for Comcast Business Class for more specificity regarding their plans for Philadelphia. They weren't ready to get into details, but I did get the following statement by email from Mike Maloney, VP of Business Services for Comcast's Freedom Region:
“Today, Comcast’s fiber network spans most of Philadelphia, making our Business Class Ethernet services available throughout the city. We have more recently expanded the network even further by bringing it into other areas including the Navy Yard and several additional Center City buildings.”
I'll be looking out for more details.
Comcast Business Services, which provides telecom services to mostly small and medium-sized enterprises, is one of the fastest growing segments within Comcast. Revenue will far exceed $2 billion in 2012, and it is growing at about a 35% annual rate.