Comcast says its network upgrades are ahead of schedule

It was only in September that Comcast launched its 2-gig residential service and promised to rapidly expand availability to reach 50 million locations by the end of 2025. But already, the operator told Fierce it’s running ahead of schedule, with service set to be lit up across 10 million locations by the end of this month.

Comcast had originally promised to hit 34 markets by the end of 2022, delivering faster speeds via mid-split upgrades and laying the foundation for a future DOCSIS 4.0 push. A company representative said it’s already in more than 40 markets and has been able to maintain the $200 cost per passing previously cited by executives.

Its initial rollout in September covered three cities: Colorado Springs, Colorado; Augusta, Georgia; and Panama City Beach, Florida. Now, the major metro areas of Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Denver, Houston, Miami, Philadelphia, Salt Lake City, Seattle, San Francisco and Washington D.C. are also in the mix, among others.

The operator indicated it plans to add a number of additional markets in 2023. However, the representative declined to say just how many it plans to reach or provide an interim location coverage target, stating it is still working toward its 2025 goal generally.

But if cable vendor Harmonic’s recent Q4 results are any indication, Comcast will continue moving at a swift clip. The operator accounted for nearly half of Harmonic’s Q4 2022 revenue, marking a sharp increase from 26% in Q4 2021. Harmonic supplies the Remote-PHY hardware and virtual cable modem termination system (vCMTS) CableOS Comcast is using to upgrade its network.

As part of its announcement, Comcast noted plans to roll out an in-home Wi-Fi Boost Guarantee and Storm-Ready Wi-Fi, which will include cellular and battery power backup for events that take out a home’s electricity. It also teased forthcoming “low latency features” aimed at gamers and remote workers, but the representative declined to provide further detail including whether or not customers will have to pay for these capacilities.

Comcast has repeatedly talked up plans to fortify its position in the broadband market not just with faster speeds but by tacking on value added devices and services for customers.