League Business Leader Comcast’s Network Investment

Source: League Business Leaders Network Member Comcast

Please be aware of a recent statement Comcast CEO Brian Roberts made referencing Comcast’s network investment over the past three years.  During that time, Comcast’s network performed at a high level during the pandemic, managing a sharp surge in March and April followed by an elevated growth trend for the remainder of the year.

Some highlights from Comcast’s statement include:

  • Peak Internet traffic rose 32 percent over pre-pandemic levels, and over 50 percent in some markets in March.
  • In the span of 4 months in the wake of pandemic lockdowns, Comcast’s network experienced almost 2 years-worth of traffic growth.
  • Surprisingly, despite increases in videoconferencing activity, entertainment activities continued to dominate network traffic, with video streaming accounting for 71 percent of all downstream traffic, and growing by 70 percent over 2019 levels.
  • For the first time ever, as Comcast customers surfed, streamed and emailed more than ever before, they generated more than a trillion Internet requests (DNS lookups) each day.

In addition, due to Comcast’s investment, Comcast has continued to deliver above-advertised speeds to customers, including areas hit hardest by Covid-19.  The remarkable performance of the network during this time can be attributed both to outstanding work by technical and care teams throughout the pandemic and to key innovations and billions of dollars in strategic investment for many years before the pandemic began.

Some examples include:

  • From 2017 through 2020, Comcast invested more than $15 billion to expand, strengthen and evolve its network.   
  • From 2017 through 2020, the company built an additional 39,153 route miles of fiber into the network, and made thousands of capacity augments from the core of our network all the way down to individual neighborhoods. 
  • Comcast engineers built multiple new smart software platforms – powered by artificial intelligence and machine learning – that can detect and fix problems before they affect customers. 

One of those software platforms, Comcast Octave – the completion of which was dramatically accelerated by Comcast engineers in response to the pandemic – enabled Comcast to increase upstream capacity by up to 36 percent, right at the time when traffic levels began to surge.