Comcast Speeds Up Its Superfast Broadband Deployment

comcastComcast will deploy superfast broadband in 80 percent of its footprint by the end of this year, CEO Brian Roberts said during the cable company’s second-quarter earnings call today, up from the 65-percent figure the company had committed to last year. The quicker rollout may be because it’s relatively cheap to deploy faster broadband through DOCSIS 3.0, or perhaps because the number of Comcast’s new broadband subscribers plummeted in the most recent 3-month period.

The cable company added just 65,000 high-speed Internet subscribers in the second quarter, compared with its addition of 278,000 in the same period last year. However, its penetration — the percentage of homes that have access to Comcast broadband and that subscribe to it — stayed fairly flat, at 30.3 percent. It also saw its video penetration continue to fall, to 46.9 percent, a sign that Verizon’s telco TV service may be putting pressure on the cable company’s video business. Comcast competes with Verizon in 12 percent of its footprint.

Despite the grim news on broadband adds (or perhaps because of it), Roberts committed to more D3 and speeds of up to 50 Mbps down. “We have already installed wideband in nearly 50 percent of our footprint and we hope to reach close to 80 percent by year-end,” he said on the call. For a look at how quickly the cable companies are deploying superfast broadband, check out the chart we created back in April. Comcast and Cablevision are the leaders, while Time Warner Cable, RCN and Insight Communications will still see the percentage of their markets covered by D3 stuck in the teens at the end of this year.

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