Comcast Business Finally Makes Its Metro Ethernet Move

May 16th, 2011 by · 6 Comments

With all the noise this year about how cable MSOs are taking share in the business marketplace, the fact that Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA, news, filings) had yet to enter the Metro Ethernet marketplace in force might have seemed odd.  Well if so, those days are now over.  Today the big daddy of the US cable industry formally unveiled its Metro Ethernet product line in 20 markets across the country.  The higher bandwidth offering will take them further into the M end of the SME business than hybrid fiber-coax would be able to get them.

Comcast's actual metro fiber footprint remains a bit of a mystery to me, as like other cable MSOs (not including Cablevision's Optimum Lightpath), they don't offer much public information about that part of their footprint.  Comcast does have an intercity network built off of Level 3 dark fiber of course, but the metro footprint was originally assembled to support the residential coax business.  A year or two ago, Comcast also purchased Cimco, a Chicago CLEC, but I believe that revenue was mostly off-net and to the SME.  As with VoIP five years ago, Comcast doesn't move quickly but it does know how to build momentum - they'll be making more waves in the space soon.  Maybe we'll see them show up on the Ethernet Exchange menu soon.

The long list of big markets Comcast is now offering its new Metro Ethernet services in are: Atlanta, Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Denver, Detroit, Harrisburg (Pa.), Hartford, Houston, Indianapolis, Jacksonville, Miami, Nashville, state of New Jersey, Oakland, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Portland, Sacramento, Salt Lake City, San Francisco, San Jose, Seattle, Washington D.C. and western New England.

Categories: Cable · Ethernet · Metro fiber

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6 Comments So Far


  • en_ron_hubbard says:

    Rob,

    This has for the last few years been the bete noire for a number of CLEC’s– that this 800 lb beast would get serious about the SME space. It appears to be happening. The counter argument is that they will never be able to duplicate service levels, trouble response times, etc. and that businesses will be loathe to trust mission critical service to the “cable guy”. We will see.

  • Brent says:

    Not sure whats new about this?? Maybe the certs? We have had metro ethernet from comcast in nashville for 2 years, 4 sites in houston (which is actually an old time warner cable market that is very fiber rich) for years as well. Tried to get it in denver and atlanta, but their footprint was not as extensive at the time.

  • Rboclover says:

    Metro in comcasts markets have been around for over a year. they are finally bulking the sales efforts up. Fortunately, being the cable company (worse than a regulated utility….) the enterprise clients have been cautious, and they have the type 2 problem that the cablecos have. It will take time, and a lot of pain, but in 10 years they my have some success at this. Nothing like ightpath since their markets are so disjointed. At some point it may make sense for them to pick up some of the fiber based mso’s to fill in the network holes they have and to spruce up their enterprise cred.

    • Brent says:

      Longer than a year ago, ive had service in Nashville and Houston since around mid ’09, so 2 years for me, and im sure it was around before that. Seems like they are just press release happy to drum up some business 🙂

  • Clevus says:

    Comcast does have quite a bit of metro fiber from the ATT broadband purchase. I have heard they own the sheath in much of that and ATT retains some fibers for their metro

  • HealthcareITNerd says:

    Brent is right about Comcast. Comcast has been quietly operating in the Metro Ethernet business for over 5 years. They deliver Metro Ethernet to some of the largest healthcare companies in the world, in addition to tons of school systems, universities, governments/municipalities, and large general businesses. This is purely a press release (more like a warning shot to the telco’s) that Comcast is serious about the mid-size and enterprise Metro E market. They offer 10Mbps – 10GIG solutions all backed by aggressive SLA’s and Quality of Service (QoS) guarantees. My company has used their Metro E for almost three years now in Nashville and we LOVE it.

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