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Comcast tests business services offering in twin cities

09 сентября 2009

Comcast Corp. launched a high-speed voice and Internet service for small businesses in Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minn., on Tuesday in an early test of the company's efforts to tap what it views as a $15 billion market.

While cable companies are losing customers amid the recession and rising competition from phone companies offering TV and broadband service, they're taking back share by providing commercial service offerings to businesses that have traditionally been customers of major phone companies.

Comcast entered the business services market in 2006 - later than its major cable counterparts - but the nation's largest cable provider is trying to make up for lost time. It posted $558 million in business services revenue last year and predicts it can more than quadruple that amount by 2012.

"Any corporation would love to have a $15 billion opportunity in front of them that's right in their core competency," said Bill Semper, president of Comcast Business Services."With the network we have in place, we believe this is an enormous opportunity for us."

The opportunity comes as investors have grown concerned about the growth prospects for the cable industry amid the rise of digital media, like online video watching, which some observers say has the potential to eclipse traditional broadcast and cable TV.

Still, the industry has maintained its position as the leading provider of high-speed Internet service. Comcast billed the service it launched in the Twin Cities as "one of the fastest" Internet services available in the U.S., with downloads of 100 megabits per second - a demonstration of the new wideband, all-digital network that it's rolling out across its footprint.

The offering also includes enterprise software solutions from Microsoft Corp. for things like an email server, along with security software.

Semper said the company has an opportunity to service small business customers that the use the Internet for frequent downloads of large media files, such as medical imagery and architectural drawings.

"In this economy, businesses are looking more carefully than ever at their data and voice communications investments, and they're giving us a chance to speak with them about our value proposition," said Semper."The value and the cost of our offering will be significantly ahead of what they have now."

Semper declined to provide a timetable for a national rollout of the service, but he said "ultimately we'll have this in all of our markets."


Источник: Total Telecom

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