Comcast aims to fortify broadband position with devices, services

Comcast hasn’t been shy about touting its network investments on the road to DOCSIS 4.0, but CEO Brian Roberts argued its efforts to innovate around devices and services are also a key part of its plan to fend off broadband competition.

During a Goldman Sachs investor conference, Roberts observed that the way consumers use broadband today is “virtually unrecognizable” from ten years ago and said the pace of change is likely to accelerate. He added Comcast is attempting to stay ahead of the game with forward-thinking developments around in-home services like Wi-Fi and TV.

He highlighted the operator’s development of a feature which allows users of its XiFi Wi-Fi mesh pods to pause their connectivity, stating customers used this tool 60 million times already in 2021. The CEO added Comcast is now working on a feature which would send XiFi users a text message to alert them when smart devices in their home don’t have the best connection.

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“We’re using artificial intelligence based on our network management to proactively help customers get a better value and experience out of the products they’re buying from us,” he explained.

Roberts pointed to the company’s launch on Wednesday of a new, Wi-Fi 6-capable global streaming box called the XiOne as another example of its product focus.

“Our strategy is to take these 31 million [broadband] relationships and deepen them” with top tier Wi-Fi, streaming and mobile products, he concluded. “We’re building a moat around the most important part of the company. And we’re innovating and we’ve shifted our whole technology focus to broadband in homes and I think it’s really paying off.”