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Copyright 2021, Faulkner Information Services. All Rights
Publication Date: 2110
Report Type: VENDOR
Comcast is focused on broadband cable, commerce, and content; it delivers digital cable and high definition TV services, providing Internet access
and service, digital IP-based phone service, and
television programming. Comcast is the number one US cable TV supplier, a top broadband provider, and
a top residential phone service provider,
consumers who switch to its Digital Voice IP-based telephony services. Additionally, Comcast
is the owner of NBCUniversal, which owns and operates
entertainment and news cable networks, the NBC and Telemundo broadcast networks,
local television station groups, television production operations, a major
motion picture company, and theme parks.
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Name: Comcast Corporation
Philadelphia, PA 19103 US
Phone: (215) 286-1700
Fax: (800) 266-2278
and Communications Service Provider
Service Areas: Comcast
Cable: 39 US states and
the District of Columbia
Stock Symbols: CMCSA, CMCSK
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Corporation is a US provider of cable television access, entertainment, information, and communication
products and services to consumers and the small business market across 39
states and the District of Columbia. As of December 2018, Comcast served a total
of 30.3 million cable customers, 25.1 million high-speed Internet
customers, 21 million video customers, and 10.2 million voice customers.
Comcast operates cable systems through Comcast Cable and creates and delivers
entertainment, news, sports, and other content for global audiences through
NBCUniversal. Comcast Cable is one of the largest video, high-speed Internet,
and phone providers in the US. Having bought out General Electric's 49 percent
ownership, Comcast now exclusively owns NBCUniversal, which owns and operates
entertainment and news cable networks, the NBC and Telemundo broadcast networks,
local television station groups, television production operations, a major
motion picture company, and theme parks. Comcast is full owner of
Comcast-Spectacor, a sports and entertainment company that owns the Philadelphia
Flyers and the Wells Fargo Center arena in Philadelphia.
History & Milestone Events
has come a long way from its 1963 start as American Cable Systems in Tupelo, MS, with 1,200
subscribers. Some of the significant milestones in Comcast’s history include the
- 1963 – Founded
in Tupelo, MS, by Ralph J. Roberts, Daniel Aaron, and Julian A. Brodsky, with
the purchase of a 1,200-subscriber cable system.
- 1969 – Renamed
Comcast and incorporated in
- 1972 – Launched an IPO on NASDAQ.
- 1988 –
Purchased 50 percent of Storer Communications, making it the fifth largest cable operator
in the US; entered the wireless communications market with the purchase of American
- 1992 – Combined
its AMCELL properties with Metrophone.
- 1994 – Acquired Maclean Hunter’s US cable operations,
making it the third largest cable operator.
- 1996 – Formed Comcast-Spectacor, a sports venture that owns and operates – among other
things – the NHL’s Philadelphia Flyers and NBA’s Philadelphia 76ers.
- 1997 –
Acquired a 50.1 percent interest in E! Entertainment.
– Sold wholly owned subsidiary Comcast Cellular to SBC Communications;
Greater Philadelphia Cablevision.
- 2000 – Acquired Lenfest Communications;
completed cable system swaps with Adelphia and
- 2002 – Closed
its acquisition of AT&T Broadband, the
second largest cable operator in the US; began trading under the NASDAQ symbols CMCSA and
CMCSK; launched high definition TV and video on demand services.
- 2005 –
Acquired Susquehanna Communications; launched digital voice
services; completed a transaction – with a group of investors – to acquire a 20
percent interest in MGM.
- 2006 – With Time Warner Cable, acquired Adelphia Communications;
Amazon.com to offer high-speed Internet via an online store; announced the creation of the Comcast Entertainment Group, a
division established to oversee the West Coast entertainment
it will participate in an effort to formalize P2P rights and responsibilities;
announced that it invested in the newly formed Clearwire venture, which
will expedite the deployment of the nationwide mobile WiMAX network first
proposed by Sprint.
- 2009 – Signed an agreement with General Electric (GE) to form a joint
venture that will be 51 percent owned and managed by Comcast.
- 2010 – The US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia decided in Comcast’s favor in its ongoing case before the FCC. The decision
the petition for review and vacated an FCC order to prevent Comcast from
cutting off transfers of large data files for users it defined as abusive.
- 2011 – With GE, gained regulatory approval for the proposed joint
venture comprising NBC Universal businesses and Comcast’s cable networks,
regional sports networks, and certain digital properties; Comcast now holds a controlling
interest in NBC Universal, which it has renamed NBCUniversal without the
- 2012 – Introduced Business VoiceEdge, a cloud-based voice and
unified communications solution; Xfinity Wireless Gateway, which combines a
customer’s wireless router, cable modem and voice adapter into an all-in-one
device; and announced the availability of Extreme 305, a speed tier that offers download speeds of up to 305 Mbps and
upload speeds of up to 65 Mbps, throughout most major markets in its
Northeast division. Also launched personal dashboard, a system that displays users’ personal preferences,
interests, schedules, and reminders on their TVs.
- 2013 – Announced Upware marketplace, third-party
cloud-based business solutions for purchase in key categories such as data
backup, data security, and collaboration; received Carrier Ethernet 2.0
certification from the Metro Ethernet Forum (MEF) for E-Line and E-LAN
services. Purchased General Electric's remaining 49 percent in NBCUniversal,
resulting in total ownership.
- 2014 – Publicly announced (amid much speculation) its bid to
acquire Time Warner in a deal valued at US$45 billion. The merger is in the
midst of the government agency approval stage, but in October it was
approved by both Comcast and Time Warner shareholders.
- 2015 – Dropped its bid to purchase Time Warner due to
pressure from antitrust regulators. Announced plans to buy a 51 percent
stake in Universal Studios Japan for $1.5 billion.
2016 – Agreed to purchase the remaining 24 percent stake in Comcast
Spectacor, giving Comcast full ownership of the company. Announced that it
will roll out a mobile phone service in 2017 using leased lines from
Verizon. NBCUniversal acquired DreamWorks Animation for $3.8 billion.
- 2017 – Announced plans to roll out a streaming service
called Xfinity Instant TV by year's end.
- 2018 – Purchased 21st Century Fox's stake in British
broadcasting company Sky for $15.1 billion after beating out Fox in a
bidding war that resulted in a $40 billion bid for Sky. Comcast announced a
deal with Netflix in which Netflix subscriptions are now included in Xfinity
- 2019 – Acquired Deep Blue Communications, a company
delivering engineering, installation, and management of commercial WiFi
networks, and BluVector, a company that uses AI and machine learning to
deliver cybersecurity protection to companies and government agencies.
Created a new business segment to target organizations in the public sector
and US government. Debuted streaming box top for Internet-only subscribers
and announced that its Peacock streaming service will launch in 2020.
- 2020 – Acquires Xumo for an undisclosed amount from a
Panasonic/Viant joint venture. The purchase comes along with an in-place
partnership that gives Comcast access to the smart TV platforms of LG,
Panasonic, and Vizio, strengthening its OTT programming options.
- 2021 – Comcast comes under fire for contributing
$200,000 to a political fund that was involved in organizing the January 6
riots in Washington, DC.
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Although its name is synonymous with cable television, the times have
changed. With fierce competition facing its video services due to the low price
of streaming, Comcast is jumping in. In September 2019, the company announced
plans to roll out an Internet-connected streaming TV box to be included with all
Xfinity Internet-only subscriptions. Customers can now watch over 10,000 TV
shows and movies for free with the option to purchase thousands more. The move
is to directly compete with similar offerings from Roku and Apple TV and will
give customers the ability to watch programs from Amazon Prime and Netflix.
Comcast rolled out Peacock, its video streaming service, in April 2020 to
compete against Netflix and Disney+, the Walt Disney Company's streaming
service. The service's basic tier was made available as a free extra for
existing Xfinity TV and broadband subscribers, while an ad-free option would run
consumers $5. Non-Xfinity customers could also subscribe for $4.99 per month.
Comcast also offers home security options that can be controlled right from a
user’s smart device. The company has said that it looks to be the premier
provider for home automation so that customers can remotely monitor thermostats
and door locks as well as secure their residences.
Bundling has been a key factor in giving customers what they want. The
Triple Play, which is Comcast's popular marriage of Internet, cable TV, and
voice at one monthly subscription price, started off the boon for Comcast. With
the addition of its home security offering, Comcast now promotes the Quad Play.
Customer Service Improvements Finally
Comcast has been hated for years by customers for its poor quality of service.
However, the company – who was at one time more hated than the Internal Revenue
Service for its loathsome customer service – has spent the past few years trying
to turn this around. Among the overhauls that the company implemented were
shorter appointment windows for technicians and credits for late appointment
arrivals. The company has poured more than $1 billion into improving the
customer experience since 2016.1
Comcast Internet Essentials
The company's Internet Essentials program continues to offer $10 per month
broadband coverage to low-income families. This move has been especially
important during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, when many students are learning
from home where they may or may not have reliably Internet access. Although the
program is unlikely to have a major positive impact on Comcast's revenue, it
does provide the media and telco giant with a significant amount of positive
buzz in the public eye.
Experts say that Comcast overpaid for Sky, a British telecommunications
company. Comcast previously tried to buy Sky but was beat out by Disney as part
of a proposed bid by 21st Century Fox. A bidding war ensued. In September,
Comcast raised its bid to $40 billion, leaving Fox in the dust. Comcast then
purchased a 30 percent stake in Sky. The following day, Fox sold its 39 percent
stake in Sky to Comcast for $15 billion. Prior to its acquisition of Sky,
Comcast had about $64 billion in debt. With Sky now in tow, Comcast was saddled
with $100 billion in debt.
Free Speed … at a Cost
Comcast has been called out by customers after they noticed spikes in their
monthly cable/Internet bills. According to Comcast, users’ speed had been
increased without being requested – customers say they were completely
unaware of this until they received higher bills. For a period of time, the
speed boosts had occurred without any charge, but after special credits and
promotions had been exhausted, customer spotted higher bills and complained.
Comcast and other Internet service providers like AT&T and Charter
Communications have used this tactic and all received customer complaints. The
companies state that they all disclose information regarding the charges in
emails, customer bills, or both. Customers say they don’t need or use the speed
that the ISPs are delivering to them without their consent.
Questionable Political Donations
Comcast has come under fire several times for contributing to Political Action
Committees (PACs) found to have questionable motivations and actions.
The most recent example of this occurred in 2021 when it was discovered that
Comcast had contributed $200,000 dollars to the "Rule of Law Defense Fund," a
fund-raising entity within the Republican Party's Attorneys General Association.
This group apparently provided funding for the "Save America March" in
Washington, DC, that resulted in the dramatic riots and assault on the US
Capitol building. Other donations have centered around lobbying efforts that
clearly have anti-consumer goals or backing candidates that go on to submit
legislation that would be beneficial to Comcast's bottom line.
Comcast continues to grow rampantly in recent years, largely thanks to its
acquisitions of Sky and NBCUniversal. While this leaves Comcast
in a better position to compete with the likes of Netflix and gives it a
foothold within TV markets in the UK, Ireland, Germany, Austria, and Italy, it
remains to be seen what this philosophy will do for the company's long-term
stability. Comcast's bread-and-butter business of pay TV also remains in a state
of flux. Cord-cutting continues to be a growing trend impacting its subscription
services and home phone offerings. Although the provider has weathered this well
so far due to its shift towards being more strongly focused on broadband, this
could change when its broadband service areas reach a saturation point while it
continues to shed pay TV and home phone subscriptions.
Comcast is focused on a couple of initiatives for the near future: cybersecurity
and streaming. For the former, the company has debuted Comcast Business
SecurityEdge, an offering to protect a business network and devices from various
Internet threats. The service does not require additional hardware or software
apart from the Comcast Business modem. Comcast is also integrating technology
from security vendor Fortinet to its ActiveCore software-defined networking
platform. In terms of streaming, competition is fierce, but Comcast now offers a streaming box for free to its Internet-only customers
and a continues to promote its Peacock streaming service as a free benefit for
broadband customers and a powerful competitor for other streaming giants as well.
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In the communications arena, Comcast
offers digital voice, high-speed Internet, digital cable, 4G wireless, triple-play
bundles, and Comcast Business Services. Table 1 describes the company’s service offerings and lists its
Cable television services including premium channels, subscription-on-demand
packages, high definition, and DVR services. Netflix subscribers also have
access to their content from the Xfinity platform.
Xfinity Stream is a
The X1 control platform is built on Xfinity’s voice-activated remote control
service for streaming and downloading HD multimedia, surfing the Web, and
accessing online security tools. Features include:
service offering local and long distance calling in the US, Canada, China,
Mexico, and other areas. It includes features such as:
A home security offering
that provides 24/7 monitoring, alerts and video, lighting and thermostat
control, and cellular and battery backup. The system can be managed by
smartphones and devices.
XFINITY Play Bundles
|The most popular service bundle,
the Triple Play, features digital TV,
high-speed Internet, and home phone services. Also available are Double
Play bundles with two of the above
services for less than if they were purchased a la carte, and Quad Play
bundles which include all of the above plus a home security and automation
Public View TV, In-Room Entertainment, Private View TV
Business Voice, Business VoiceEdge Virtual PBX, ISDN PRI, SIP Trunks
Comcast serves companies in the following markets with targeted offerings:
advertising, hospitality, healthcare, retail, financial services, legal,
and real estate.
In addition, Comcast provides cloud solutions apps – Microsoft Office
ActiveCore SDN, SD-WAN, Managed Router and Firewall
Ethernet, Network Services, Ethernet Dedicated Internet, Ethernet Private
Line, Virtual Private Line, Data Center and Cloud, Ethernet @Home,
Internet for Branch Offices, Cell Backhaul
Managed Connectivity, Managed WiFi, Managed Routers, Managed Security,
Managed Voice, Managed Business Continuity, IT Deployment
Because of the way cable franchises were awarded in the US, other
"traditional" cable companies do not compete directly against Comcast. With very
few exceptions, cable franchises were awarded by municipalities on exclusive basis. If Comcast is the cable provider in a specific area, it is
likely the only "traditional" cable provider in that region. The other
major "traditional" cable companies include Time Warner, Charter
Communications, and Cox Communications. It should be noted that
these cable companies – like Comcast – have morphed into
broader-based communications companies offering digital TV, Internet, and voice
services – at a minimum. Comcast’s biggest competitors for digital
TV service are Verizon’s FiOS and AT&T. Web-based broadcasters, including
Comcast, now offer an alternative to consumers who want to "cut the cord,"
choosing to watch movies, TV programs, and other video content streamed from the
Beyond its digital television services, Comcast is also a
major player in IP voice, Internet access, and even wireless services. It is
also now competing aggressively for business Ethernet services. Because it
competes in several sectors, Comcast has a range of competitors – including satellite TV providers.
Some of Comcast’s major competitors are listed
- Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/
- AT&T: https://www.att.com/
- CenturyLink: https://www.centurylink.com/
- DIRECTV (now owned by AT&T): https://www.att.net/
- DISH Network: https://www.dish.com/
- Frontier: https://www.frontier.com/
- Google: https://www.google.com/
- Netflix: https://www.netflix.com/
- T-Mobile: https://www.t-mobile.com/
- Verizon Communications: https://www.verizon.com/
- Verizon Wireless: https://www.verizonwireless.com/
- Windstream: https://www.windstream.com/
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Products and Services
that its Peacock streaming video service is finally available on
Amazon‘s Fire TV
platform. Peacock app can now be downloaded on the Fire TV
Stick 4K, Fire TV Stick Lite, and Fire TV smart TVs, with limited
Alexa compatibility that is expected to grow to full title
integration sometime later this year. As part of the same
agreement, the duo announced that NBCUniversal’s 15 additional
network apps would also be joining the Fire TV platform. These
include NBC, Bravo, NBC News, NBC Sports, and Telemundo,
among others. A limited Peacock library is available as a free,
ad-supported service, with the full library coming as a $4.99
premium subscription. A $5.00 add-on that removes all ads is also
available. Certain Xfinity X1 plans include various tiers of
Comcast has revealed its plans to introduce the new DOCSIS 4.0 Full Duplex standard
to its broadband network. According to the company, this new
technology could provide symmetrical speeds in excess of 4Gbps
over a hybrid-fiber coaxial (HFC) network. The cable and
broadband provider notes that this is another step on its path
toward providing 10G connectivity for customers. Meanwhile, many
in the press were quick to point out just how quickly these new
speeds will cause customers to run up against the monthly usage
caps Comcast plans to implement across several markets in the
coming months. The company did not provide any timeframe for
when its 4Gbps speeds may reach consumers.
that it is rolling out a new dialing procedure for customers of
its Xfinity Voice services in 17 US states and Guam. The company
noted that it will now require users in these area codes to dial
full 10-digit phone numbers, even if they are calling another
phone number within the same area code. While Comcast is
asking users to begin doing this on April 24, 2021, it noted that
this will be a “permissive calling period,” during which calls
made with only seven digits dialed will still be completed.
However, after October 24, 2021, calls using less than 10 digits
will not complete. Comcast claims it is making this change in
order to support the 988 National Suicide Prevention hotline.
Additional information about Comcast’s plans, as well as a full
list of affected area codes, can be found within Comcast’s press
Comcast once again
expanded the number of streaming video apps available on its X1
and Flex set-stop boxes, adding Disney+ and ESPN+ to its library.
With this addition, Xfinity X1 and Flex subscribers will be able
to navigate to the new apps through their on-screen menus, or by
saying “Disney+” or “ESPN+” into the Xfinity Voice Remote. It
should be noted that both services required separate
subscriptions (or a bundled subscription), in addition to their
Comcast subscriptions. Both applications are available now.
that MLB.TV, the official streaming app for Major League
Baseball, is now available on its Xfinity Flex streaming video
platform. This means that Xfinity Internet customers with a Flex
set-top box can stream all in-market and out-of-market baseball
games from all major league teams during Spring Training and the
regular season. Customers can access the new app via the Flex’s
menus, or by saying “MLB app” into their Xfinity Voice Remotes.
It should be noted that a separate MLB.TV subscription is
required, in addition to the user’s Comcast subscriptions.
Comcast launched its
landline voice implementation of the STIR/SHAKEN-based Verified
Caller ID feature. The STIR/SHAKEN standard was created by the
Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and telecommunications
stakeholders to combat unwanted spam and robocalls. It has been
promoted by the FCC, and adopted by all major mobile carriers. in
the US. However, Comcast is now also applying the standard to its
IP-based landline service as well. The new feature will be
introduced for Xfinity Voice, Comcast Business Voice, and
Business VoiceEdge Select customers. Once live, customers on
these services will be able to recognize verified callers by the
“Verified [V] label” which will appear on their caller ID
screens. Additional information about the standard and its
implementation is available via Comcast’s press
Network Performance Report, detailing the performance of its
hardware during the early part of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
According to the company, highlights of the report include a
“highly asymmetrical” traffic pattern of 14 times the downstream
traffic versus upstream traffic; a 32 percent bump in peak usage
versus pre-pandemic levels; and a 38 percent increase in overall
downstream traffic during 2020, when compared to 2019. The
company also found that online video continues to be the largest
category of bandwidth consumption, accounting for 71 percent of
all usage during the year. This was followed distantly by online
gaming at 10 percent, Web browsing at 8 percent, and software
updates at 2 percent, with the remaining 8 percent being
accounted for by various other uses. The full report is available
at the above link.
the rollout of its Xfinity Stream app on
the Flex entertainment platform. This integration will
specifically provide Flex customers with a streamlined path to
“try out Xfinity TV” – including access to live broadcast
networks, associated on-demand programming, a 20-hour
cloud-based DVR service, and other add-on channel options – while
staying within the “Flex experience they enjoy.” Flex uses a 4K
streaming device, via the Xfinity Internet service, to extend X1
content, and voice-controlled navigation to “streaming-first
customers.” Customers can access the service by adding “Choice
TV” from Xfinity.
officially delayed its plans to bring a 1.2 terabyte (TB) per
month data cap to 12 states. The change of heart is the result of
ement with Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro, and
impacts Connecticut, Delaware, Massachusetts, Maryland, Maine,
New Hampshire, New Jersey, North Carolina, New York,
Pennsylvania, Vermont, West Virginia, and the District of
Columbia. Comcast had originally intended to start enforcing the
data limit in March, but will now hold off until July. Once the
policy does go into effect, customers will be charged an
additional $10 per 50GB of monthly overage, up to a maximum of
an additional $100 per month. Of course, customers can also
subscribe to a $30 per month “unlimited plan,” or a $25 per month
Xfinity package, if they subscribe to multiple Comcast services.
Comcast maintains that 95 percent of its user base has never gone
over the 1.2TB per month limit. However, the company stands to
significantly increase its revenue from the other five percent
that will soon be required to pay more for the same product they
are already receiving.
that it is doubling the speed of its $10 per month Internet
Essentials package, the company’s broadband product designed
specifically for low-income families. Beginning March 1, new and
existing Internet Essentials subscribers will receive download
rates of 50Mbps and upload rates of 5Mbps. This upgrade follows a
boost to 25/3Mbps which the company introduced in March 2020 to
help families dealing with working and learning from home during
the COVID-19 pandemic. As part of the same program update,
Comcast also plans to bring its free Wi-Fi services to 1,000
community centers across the US. These “Lift Zones” are designed
to help provide safe settings to complete remote learning and
other important functions. Finally, Comcast announced it will
also donate $3.5 million to organizations such as CodePath, the
YWCA, Genesys Works, and Philadelphia Youth Action Center.
The northern east coast of the US experienced a major Internet
outage impacting both Verizon
Communications and Comcast on Tuesday
afternoon. As reports grew of slow connections and failed
attempts to load Web pages and apps, a Verizon Support tweet revealed that the company was
aware of a fiber cut in Brooklyn, NY. It remains a mystery
exactly what caused this cut, or the precise location that it
occurred, and how that specific conduit affected both its own
services and those of Comcast. Thankfully, the issue was a
relatively short-lived one, with sites like EnGadget reporting that “things have largely
returned to normal” as of about 2:50PM that afternoon.
that it is now rolling out Wi-Fi 6 technology to customers using
its gateways in the northeast US. The rollout apparently began on
January 7, with Xfinity Gigabit Internet subscribers being
provided with upgraded hardware capable of providing faster
in-home Wi-Fi speeds and higher capacity for the “growing number
of smart devices” in many users’ homes. The company noted that it
is currently in the process of reaching out to eligible customers
to provide them with updated hardware at no extra cost. Current
and potential customers can find more information about Comcast’s
new Wi-Fi 6-enabled gateways here.
an agreement that will bring the Disney+ and
ESPN+ streaming channels to the Xfinity platform. The cable
services provider plans to integrate The Walt Disney Company
services on the X1 and Flex interfaces “in the first quarter of
2021.” A separate subscription will be required to stream the
content, although Xfinity will support new signups through the
remote. Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
NBCUniversal’s streaming service Peacock has reached 26
million subscribers in its first five months of general
availability, adding more than four million new subs since parent
company Comcast‘s third
quarter ended at the end of September. The service launched on
July 15, although it had a limited release to Xfinity and Cox
customers three months earlier. By the end of July there were 10
million sign-ups, moving past 15 million in mid-September. “The
momentum just continues in a very strong linear way,”
NBCUniversal president Jeff Shell told an investor conference,
according to Hollywood Reporter. The new
figures place Peacock ahead of HBO Max, which currently has
12.6 million subscribers after launching in late May. Peacock has
projected that it will reach 35 million subscribers by the end of
that its Xfinity X1 customers can now access CBS All Access via
its streaming video platform. This means that X1 subscribers will
be able to watch more than 20,000 episodes and movies from
networks such as BET, CBS, Comedy Central, MTV, and
Nickelodeon, as well as movies from Paramount Pictures and
others. To access the new content, customers can say “CBS All
Access” into the Xfinity Voice Remote or can search for any of
the content included within the All Access library. CBS All
Access joins several other streaming service providers on the X1
platform, including Netflix and YouTube. A valid Xfinity and CBS
All Access subscription is required for use.
Comcast published a new report asserting that many
consumers “vastly underestimate how often home networks are
targeted by cyberthreats.” The Xfinity
Cyber Health Report summarized issues that specifically
target devices used by Xfinity Internet service customers. In
particular, the document noted that free xFi Advanced Security
has blocked nearly six billion cybersecurity threats to date,
representing an average of approximately 104 threats “per home
per month.” Particular findings include 95 percent of respondents
“grossly” underestimating attack volume, with 96 percent unable
to answer six basic cyberthreat questions; 64 percent admitting
to password sharing; and 83 percent unsure they would know a
non-screen device had been hacked. The report also identified the
most at-risk devices such as computers, smartphones, networked
cameras, networked storage devices, and streaming video units.
The survey combined data from a new consumer survey with xFi
platform threat statistics.
its new Self Protection line of in-home security services and
hardware. The new offering, which is being targeted at Comcast’s
Xfinity Internet subscribers, offers 24/7 video surveillance and
recording for $10 per month, with no contract required. The
service does, however, require one of the company’s Xfi or
Xfinity Home indoor/outdoor cameras, which will run customers
$120, or $5 per month for 24 months. The hardware is designed to
automatically connect to Comcast’s in-home networking hardware,
with its video feed and recordings being viewable within the
Xfinity App. Comcast appears to be positioning the new offering
as a cheaper alternative to its $40 per month Home Security Plus
offering, which adds professional monitoring, additional sensors,
and other features to the services offered by Self Protection.
Comcast may be
getting into the smart TV business, according to a report from The Wall Street Journal. The company is allegedly in talks
with mega-retailer Walmart to begin selling smart TVs that run an
operating system similar to the one found on its Flex streaming
video set-top box. According to the report, the deal would see
Walmart getting a share of revenue from Comcast for each user
accessing its services via the TV, while Comcast would allow
Walmart to place its in-house branding on the sets themselves. An
undisclosed third party is expected to actually manufacture the
electronics. Both involved parties refused to comment on the
report when contacted by The Wall Street Journal. However, the
deal seems to be a likely one, with both companies standing to
benefit from Comcast’s platforms being expanded to areas where it
does not currently offer cable-based services. Walmart would also
gain a new revenue stream from those services, and another brand
of smart TVs for its shelves. It should be noted that Walmart has
a similar deal in place with Roku, which provides its software
for Walmart’s Onn-branded TVs and soundbars.
that it has achieved a “10G technical milestone” during a trial
attempt to deliver a symmetrical 1.25 Gbps connection to
residential customers. The successful experiment used Network
Function Virtualization (NFV) in coordination with the company’s
existing DOCSIS 3.1 technology to deliver the 1.25
gigabit-per-second download and upload rates. The first
deployment took place in Jacksonville, Florida on the cable
company’s live network. Comcast claims this milestone is just one
more accomplishment on its path to a promised 10 Gbps future for
“DOCSIS and other key network technologies.” In the coming
weeks, the early trial will be expanded to additional homes and
businesses in the area. While Comcast did not provide any
timeline for when this technology might be publicly available, it
did promise to continue pursuing faster network speeds alongside
organizations such as NCTA, CableLabs, and SCTE, as well as
other operators across the globe.
Comcast‘s Xfinity X1
voice remote was apparently used to remotely record users’
conversations by a security research team, EnGadget reported. The
organization in question, Guardicore Labs, was reportedly able to
exploit a weakness in the firmware patching process used on the
remote to wirelessly install a malicious software package that
made it possible to use the remote’s built-in microphone to
stealthily listen in from as much as 65 feet away. The team also
believes even longer distances could be managed if a more
powerful antenna were used in the process. Thankfully for Comcast
subscribers, the security flaw was already patched before
Guardicore’s study was made public. However, the possibility of a
similar weakness in the future is unlikely to sit well with
Comcast has released the second-gen
version of its xFi Pod Wi-Fi extender hardware. The revamped
product is designed to work with one’s wireless gateway to extend
Wi-Fi connectivity in more far-flung parts of the household. The
new xFi Pod offers “upwards of 500Mbps connectivity” for a “2X
faster” experience than the previous version, and includes two
Ethernet ports for direct connections, as well as a tri-band
Wi-Fi radio for extending high speeds to more connected devices.
The development comes, Comcast noted, as the demand for
“meetings, virtual classrooms and online social events from home”
continues to grow.
Alliances and Joint Ventures
Comcast revealed a
new partnership with Versa Networks under which the pair will
extend their jointly developed ActiveCore solution to deliver
Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) under the Comcast Business
brand. The new offering is designed to work alongside Comcast’s
Business ActiveCore software-defined networking (SDN) platform.
The joint offering is available now from Comcast Business.
Cisco Systems‘ Meraki joined forces with Comcast Business to
expand the company’s Teleworker VPN (virtual private network)
offering. Comcast’s Teleworker VPN with Cisco Meraki offers a
cloud-native platform that can be paired with Comcast’s Managed
VPN Aggregation service to provide a fixed or hosted VPN gateway,
the latter courtesy of Cisco’s Secure Gateway Service centers.
The offerings can also be paired with remote, all-in-one devices
to provide cloud-based security and wireless / wired connectivity
options that are centrally managed on the Meraki cloud platform.
Personnel and Organizational
Comcast posted a new commitment to be fully carbon neutral by the year
2035. According to the telecom and entertainment company, it will
be fully carbon neutral for Scope 1 and 2 emissions across its
entire global operations by this time. It plans to accomplish
this by shifting to “more zero carbon, renewable electricity by
partnering with local utilities and investing in new renewable
energy through power purchase agreements and securing
renewable energy credits.” It will also revamp its internal
energy control policy to reduce its consumption across its entire
operation. Comcast plans to publish annual Scope 1 and 2
emissions reports going forward, to help provide transparency on
its ongoing efforts to meet its 2035 deadline. The company claims
it has the capacity to eliminate up to 2 million tons of CO2
emissions through these efforts.
Comcast posted its
financials for the first quarter of the 2021 fiscal year. For the
period, the cable company took in revenues of $27.2 billion, up
from Q1 2020’s $26.6 billion. The growth was driven primarily by
the company’s Cable Communications division, which saw a 5.9
percent jump in its revenue contribution. Comcast’s NBCUniversal
and Sky divisions, meanwhile, shrank from their year-ago
contributions. The growing revenues resulted in a net income of
$3.33 billion, up from the $2.15 billion posted for the same
quarter in 2020. The corresponding earnings per share were $0.71,
up from the year-ago quarter’s $0.46 per share. On the subscriber
front, Comcast reported record-setting net additions of 380,000
subscribers as the result of 461,000 broadband additions and
278,000 wireless lines. It should be noted, however, that these
jumps were offset by 491,000 video losses and 106,000 voice
customers departing the company.
Comcast revealed an
extension of its Internet Essentials program on the tenth
anniversary of the low-cost broadband initiative’s foundation.
The new push will see the cable company investing $1 billion over
the next 10 years to “help further close the digital divide and
give even more low-income Americans the tools and resources they
need to succeed in an increasingly digital world.” Specific areas
of investment will include additional support for the company’s
Lift Zone initiative to establish Wi-Fi hotspots in more than
1,000 community centers; new laptop and computer donations;
grants for nonprofit community organizations focusing on media,
arts, technology, and entrepreneurship; and continued investment
in the aforementioned Internet Essentials program. Comcast claims
the new infusion will benefit as many as 50 million Americans
over the next 10 years.
Comcast posted its
financial results for the fourth quarter and 2020 fiscal year.
For the quarter, the company’s revenue reached $27.7 billion, a
2.4 percent decline from the $28.39 billion seen during the final
quarter of 2019. Net income, however, rose to $3.38 billion, or
$0.73 per share, compared to the net earnings of $3.16 billion,
or $0.68 per share posted one year ago. For the fiscal year,
Comcast’s revenue was $103.56 billion, a 4.9 percent drop from
2019’s $108.94 billion. Net income here was $10.53 billion, or
$2.28 per share, compared to the $13.05 billion, or $2.83 per
share posted for the previous year. Comcast’s customer figures
for the final quarter included the increasingly typical impact of
cord-cutting trends, with the company losing a net total of 1.4
million video customers and 275,000 voice subscribers, but
gaining 1.97 million high-speed Internet accounts. Meanwhile,
it’s fledgling wireless division saw 774,000 net adds during the
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1 Alex Vuocolo. "Comcast Opens New Employee-Focused Call
Center in Newark." Delaware Business Times. September 11, 2019.
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