|Founded||2 April 1981|
|Key people||Neil Smit (CEO)
Ralph Roberts (Chairman)
Catherine Avgiris (CFO)
Comcast Cable Communications, LLC is the cable division of Comcast Corporation. Comcast Cable's CEO is Niel Smit, its chairman is Ralph J. Roberts, and its CFO is Catherine Avgiris. Comcast Cable went from $23.7 billion in revenue in 2007 to $48.1 billion in 2013.
In 2010, Comcast began promoting Xfinity, the company's rebranded trademark for triple play services in Comcast's largest markets, including the company's digital cable, cable Internet access, and cable telephone services and radio. Comcast Digital Cable was renamed "Xfinity TV", Comcast Digital Voice became "Xfinity Voice", and Comcast High Speed Internet became "Xfinity Internet". Comcast Business Services remains under the "Comcast" name. A marketing push involving the new Xfinity brand took place during the 2010 Winter Olympics coverage on NBC, which was in the early stages of a merger with Comcast.
The Xfinity rebranding has been controversial as a purported effort to sidestep the negativity of the Comcast brand. In February 2010, TIME listed Xfinity at number 2 in their Top 10 Worst Corporate Name Changes list.
Comcast is the largest provider of cable internet access in the US, servicing 40% of the market in 2011. As of Jun 30, 2013, Comcast has 19.986 million high-speed internet customers. According to the Comcast High Speed Internet terms of service, residential customers are provided with dynamic IP addresses. Comcast's "PowerBoost" delivers bursts for all but their highest-end and lowest-end tiers, allowing subscribers to use all excess cable node capacity to speed up the first few seconds of downloads.
Comcast began offering internet services in late 1996, when it helped found the @Home Network, which sold internet service through Comcast's cable lines. The agreement continued after @Home's merger with Excite. When the combined company Excite@Home filed for bankruptcy in 2002, Comcast moved their roughly 950,000 internet customers completely onto their own network.
In 2008, Comcast moved to a data cap system, in which customers whose usage exceeded 250GB would have their bandwidth capped. A spokesperson stated that this policy had been in place for some time, but was the first time Comcast has announced a specific usage limit. As the cap provoked a strongly negative reaction from some, Comcast decided to modify its policy in 2012. Under the new system, the cap was increased to 300GB, and consumers who exceed the limit are charged $10 for every 50GB above the limit.
Currently available Comcast High-Speed Internet Plans: (pricing varies slightly)
|Name||Download Speed||Upload Speed||DOCSIS Version||Price (excluding promotions)|
|Internet Essentials||5.0 Mbit/s||1 Mbit/s||$9.95/mo. (low income only)|
|Economy Plus||3.0 Mbit/s||768 kbit/s||1.1, 2.0, 3.0||$39.95/mo.|
|Performance Starter||6 Mbit/s||1 Mbit/s||1.1, 2.0, 3.0||$49.95/mo.|
|Performance||20-25 Mbit/s||4-5 Mbit/s||2.0, 3.0||$59.95/mo.|
|Blast!||50 Mbit/s||10 Mbit/s||3.0||$69.95/mo.|
|Extreme 105||105 Mbit/s||20 Mbit/s||3.0||$114.95/mo.|
|Extreme 505||505 Mbit/s||105 Mbit/s||Metro ethernet||$399.95/mo.|
Along with the price of internet subscriptions, Comcast charges users an additional $7.95/month to rent a cable modem. This fee has been seen by some as unfair, but is waived for customers who buy their own modems. Comcast charges $20 for internet installation, but the fee is waived for customers who opt to install themselves.
In 2011, Comcast launched its "Internet Essentials" program, which offers low-cost internet service to families with children who qualify for free or reduced price school lunches. The plan launched at $10 per month, with discounts on a computer and free training are also provided. The FCC required this budget service as a condition for allowing Comcast's acquisition of NBCUniversal in January 2011. Of an estimated 2.3 million households eligible for the program, about 0.1 million households have signed up for the program as of January 2013. A similar program is available from other internet providers through the non-profit Connect2compete.org. Comcast has stated that the program will accept new customers for a total of three years. In March 2014, as he met with FCC concerning the Time Warner Cable merger, Comcast vice president David Cohen told reporters that the internet essentials program will be extended indefinitely.
Network management and peering
In September 2007, a rumor emerged among tech blogs that Comcast was throttling or even blocking internet traffic transmitted via the BitTorrent protocol. Comcast vehemently denied the accusations of blocking traffic, stating that "Comcast does not, has not, and will not block any Web sites or online applications, including peer-to-peer services", and that "We engage in reasonable network management". After more widespread confirmation that Comcast was throttling BitTorrent traffic, Comcast said it occasionally delayed BitTorrent traffic in order to speed up other kinds of data, but declined to go into specifics. Following the announcement of an official investigation by the FCC, Comcast voluntarily ended the traffic discrimination. The FCC investigation concluded that Comcast's throttling policies were illegal. However, after filing a lawsuit in September 2008, Comcast overturned the illegality of its network management in 2010, as the court ruled that the FCC lacked the authority to enforce net neutrality under the FCC's current regulatory policy. The court suggested instead of its current framework, the FCC move to a common carrier structure to justify its enforcement. As of February 2014, the FCC has announced a new justification, but avoided the more extensive regulation required by the common carrier framework.
In 2010, Netflix signed an agreement with Level 3 Communications to carry its data. Shortly after, Level 3 entered a heated dispute concerning whether Level 3 would have to pay Comcast to bridge their respective networks, in an agreement known as peering. The disagreement continued as Netflix's current carrier, Cogent Communications, explicitly placed blame for Netflix bottlenecks on Comcast and several other ISPs. In February 2014, after rumors surfaced that Comcast and Netflix had reached an unspecified agreement, the companies confirmed that Netflix was paying Comcast to connect to its network. The details of the agreement are not public, and speculation disagrees about whether the agreement is a precedent against net neutrality, or a continuation of normal peering agreements.
Land line telephone
Comcast Digital Voice, now known as Xfinity Voice, is a telephone product offered by Comcast Corporation. Comcast offers CDV in both residential and business class and is packaged with Xfinity. The service was launched in 2005 in select markets, before being extended to all of Comcast's markets.
Xfinity Voice allows communication over the internet using VoIP, but uses a private network instead of a public IP address, which allows Comcast to prioritize the voice data during heavy traffic. In technical terms, on Comcast's Hybrid Fiber Coaxial network, calls are placed into individual Unsolicited Grant Service flows, based on DOCSIS 1.1 Quality of service standards. For the customer, this has the benefit of preventing network congestion from interfering with call quality. However, this separation of traffic into separate flows, or Smart pipe, has been seen by some as a violation of net neutrality, who call instead for equal treatment of all data, or dumb pipe. Other, non-Comcast VoIP services on Comcast's network must use the lower priority public IP addresses. The practice was questioned by the FCC in 2009. In their response, Comcast stated that services that use telecommunications are not necessarily telecommunications services, and noted the FCC's current designation of Comcast Digital Voice as an information service exempted it from telecommunications service regulations. Comcast also said that because Comcast Voice was a separate service, it was unfair to directly compare the data for Comcast Voice with the data for other VoIP services.
Because telephone services over VoIP are not automatically tied to a physical address, Xfinity Voice utilizes E911 to help 911 service operators to automatically locate the source of the 911 call. Voice calls are delivered as a digital stream over the Comcast network, signal is converted to analog plain old telephone service lines at the cable modem, which outputs on standard analog RJ-11 jacks.
After trial runs in 2005, Comcast rolled out its Digital Voice service to all its markets in 2006. Comcast's older service, Comcast Digital Phone, continued to offer service for a brief period, until Comcast shut it down around late 2007. In 2009, after completing transition from their old service, Comcast had 7.6 million voice customers. As of the end of 2013, Comcast Digital Voice had reached 10.7 million subscribers.
Comcast has transitioned from traditional land line service to VoIP style delivery. Beginning in 2005, Comcast launched its VoIP service, Comcast Digital Voice. As of the end of 2013, Comcast has 10.7 million voice customers.
|Name||Description||Price (excluding promotions)|
|Voice Local With More||Unlimited local calls, long distance 5¢/min. inside the US||$34.95/mo.|
|Voice Unlimited||Unlimited calls inside the US||$44.95/mo.|
Comcast's cable television customers peaked in 2007, with about 24.8 million customers. Since then, Comcast has lost customers every year, with the first quarterly gain in customers since their peak occurring in the fourth quarter of 2013. As of the end of 2013, Comcast serves a total of 21.7 million cable customers. The average cost Comcast's Digital Basic cable subscription has increased from $39.04 in 2003 to $67.49 in 2012.
2012 pricing: (taken from Scranton, PA, varies slightly by region)
|Limited Basic||Local channels only||$20.99/mo. |
|Expanded Basic||30-50 channels||$48.96/mo.|
|Digital Starter||Around 80 channels||$69.95/mo.|
|Digital Preferred||Around 160 channels||$87.90/mo.|
|Total Premium||Around 200 channels||$142.95/mo.|
In addition to the prices of subscriptions, since July 2012, Comcast charges a Regulatory Recovery Fee of varying size in order to "recover additional costs associated with governmental programs." Beginning in January 2014, Comcast also charges a $1.50 Broadcast TV Fee to “defray the rising costs of retransmitting broadcast television signals.”
Beginning in the mid 2000s, television stations increasingly required cable companies like Comcast to pay retransmission fees in exchange for permission to broadcast their content. (Historically, TV broadcasters made money almost exclusively through advertising.) These fees have been the subject of heated negotiation between broadcasters and distributors, with a few high profile blackouts prompting the FCC to publicly express serious concern in 2011. Comcast currently has ten year agreements with CBS and Disney, as well as deals with Fox and others, but the financial details of these deals are not public. Based on professional estimates, ESPN charges $5.06 to transmit their channel per viewer. However, most channels charge much less.
Since the rise of retransmission fees, distributors like Comcast pay substantial fees for retransmitting broadcast television, which is free over the air for consumers. Comcast has instated a $1.50 Broadcast TV Fee to cover part of the cost of getting permission from stations to retransmit the free stations, itemized separately for consumers. Comcast's subsidiary, NBCUniversal, is one of several broadcasters currently in legal dispute with Aereo, over the question of whether the company is a retransmitter (which would require it to pay retransmission fees). The case is currently set to appear before the US Supreme Court.
Home security and automation
Comcast now offers a home security and home automation service known as Xfinity Home, in some of its service areas. This service provides residential customers a monitored burglar and fire alarm, surveillance cameras, and home automation.
||It has been suggested that Comcast Business be merged into this article. (Discuss) Proposed since November 2013.|
In addition to residential consumers, Comcast also serves businesses as customers, targeting both small businesses with fewer than 20 employees and also mid-sized businesses of 20–500 employees. In 2009, Minneapolis–Saint Paul became the first city in which Comcast Business Class offered 100 Mbit/s Internet service, which includes Microsoft Communication Services. Comcast Business Class Internet service does not have a bandwidth usage cap.
Comcast Business services were initially sold exclusively through direct sales employees. In March 2011, Comcast created an indirect sales channel called the Solution Provider Program, a comprehensive indirect channel program that enables telecommunications consultants and system integrators to sell Comcast’s services such as Business Class Internet, Voice, and high-capacity Ethernet services to small and mid-market businesses. The program offers recurring commissions for sales partners based on monthly revenue, and Comcast will provide, install, manage and bill for these services. For the initial launch of the Solutions Provider Program, Comcast enlisted three national master representatives—Telarus, based in Salt Lake City, Utah; Intelisys, based in Petaluma, California; and Telecom Brokerage Inc (TBI), based in Chicago. Sub-agent sales partners must work with one of these three partners in the early stages of the program. The head of the Comcast Business indirect sales channel is Craig Schlagbaum, former head of the Level 3 Communications channel.
- "Comcast Cable Communications 2000 FORM 10-K". US Securities and Exchange Commission. 16 Mar 2001. Retrieved 13 Mar 2014.
- "Company Overview of Comcast Cable Communications, LLC". Bloomberg. 28 Feb 2014. Retrieved 28 Feb 2014.
- "Comcast Holds 2007 Annual Meeting of Shareholders". Comcast. 23 May 2007. Retrieved 23 Feb 2014.
- Roger Yu (28 Jan 2014). "Comcast income up 26% on video rebound". USA Today. Retrieved 23 Feb 2014.
- Bray, Hiawatha (February 13, 2010). "Comcast enters rebranding territory". The Boston Globe.
- "Contact Us". Comcast Business. Retrieved December 14, 2013.
- Fernandez, Bob. "Comcast unveils new brand name and logo".[dead link] philly.com, February 3, 2010. Accessed March 15, 2010.
- ''Comcast seeks reputation change with Xfinity brand'', Yinka Adegoke, Reuters, February 9, 2010. Reuters.com. Retrieved on July 8, 2011.
- Comcast Xfinity Rebranding Largely Laughed At, DSLreports.com, February 8, 2010. Dslreports.com. Retrieved on July 8, 2011.
- Gregory, Sean. (February 7, 2010) Comcast's New Name: Rated X?, Sean Gregory, Time Magazine, February 7, 2010. Time.com. Retrieved on July 8, 2011.
- Suddath, Claire. (February 8, 2010) Top 10 Worst Corporate Name Changes, Claire Suddath, Time Magazine, February 8, 2010. Time.com. Retrieved on July 8, 2011.
- "3 MILLION ADDED BROADBAND FROM TOP CABLE AND TELEPHONE COMPANIES IN 2011". Leichtman Research Group. 16 Mar 2012. Retrieved 10 Mar 2014.
- "Comcast Reports 2nd Quarter 2013 Results".
- Comcast, ''Comcast High-Speed Internet Acceptable Use Policy''. Comcast.net. Retrieved on July 8, 2011.
- BLOOMBERG NEWS (30 Mar 2000). "Comcast, Cox extend Excite@Home deal". The Baltimore Sun. Retrieved 19 Feb 2014.
- MATT RICHTEL (4 Jan 2002). "TECHNOLOGY; Comcast Copes With Internet Problems". New York Times. Retrieved 19 Feb 2014.
- Chloe Albanesius (28 Aug 2008). "Comcast to Cap Data Transfers at 250 GB in Oct.". PC Magazine. Retrieved 20 Feb 2014.
- Peter Glaskowsky (3 Sep 2008). "Comcast's usage cap: Is the sky really falling?". Cnet. Retrieved 20 Feb 2014.
- Ryan Singel (17 May 2012). "Comcast Suspends Data Cap Temporarily, Will Test New Overage Fees". Wired. Retrieved 20 Feb 2014.
- Marguerite Reardon (17 May 2012). "Comcast ditches 250GB data cap, tests tiered pricing". Cnet. Retrieved 20 Feb 2014.
- Mike Rogoway (12 Sep 2013). "Comcast boosts speeds for low-cost Internet service for low-income families". The Oregonian. Retrieved 5 Mar 2014.
- "High Speed Internet Service by Xfinity". Comcast. Retrieved 19 Feb 2014.
- Jeff Baumgartner (20 Feb 2014). "Comcast To Expand 505-Meg Broadband Service: Source". MultiChannelNews. Retrieved 23 Feb 2014.
- "Comcast 505". Comcast. Retrieved 19 Feb 2014.
- Tim Wu (14 Feb 2014). "The Real Problem with the Comcast Merger". The New Yorker. Retrieved 17 Feb 2014.
- Matt Burns (16 Sep 2009). "Comcast to (likely) fill its coffers by raising the cable modem rental fee". TechCrunch. Retrieved 17 Feb 2014.
- Josh Smith (21 Sep 2009). "Beat the Comcast cable modem price hikes -- buy your own". Daily Finance. Retrieved 17 Feb 2014.
- Drew Dixon (6 Dec 2011). "Comcast to hike prices in communication packages, lower installation costs". The Florida Times-Uniion. Retrieved 20 Feb 2014.
- "Comcast Introduces New Triple Play Self-Install Kit". Business Wire. 9 May 2011. Retrieved 20 Feb 2014.
- David Murphy (August 7, 2011). "Comcast Launches Low-Cost Internet for Low-Income Families". PC Magazine. Retrieved February 14, 2014.
- Homepage InterentEssentials.Com, accessed January 21, 2013
- Brad Tuttle (20 Sep 2012). "Why Aren’t More Families Signing Up for Cheap Internet Service?". Time. Retrieved 5 Mar 2014.
- Chozick, Amy (January 20, 2013). "Mixed Response to Comcast in Expanding Net Access". The New York Times. Retrieved January 21, 2013.
- Homepage connect2compete.org accessed January 21, 2013
- Todd Shields (4 Mar 2014). "Comcast Pledges Low-Cost Web as It Meets on Time Warner". Bloomberg. Retrieved 5 Mar 2014.
- Ernesto (17 Aug 2007). "Comcast Throttles BitTorrent Traffic, Seeding Impossible". TorrentFreak. Retrieved 25 Feb 2014.
- Andy Patrizio (2 Nov 2007). "Comcast Again Denies P2P Throttling". Internet News. Retrieved 25 Feb 2014.
- Peter Svensson (19 Nov 2007). "Comcast Blocks Some Internet Traffic". Retrieved 25 Feb 2014.
- BRAD STONE (22 Oct 2007). "Comcast: We’re Delaying, Not Blocking, BitTorrent Traffic". New York Times Bits. Retrieved 25 Feb 2014.
- Ryan Paul (9 Jan 2008). "FCC to investigate Comcast BitTorrent blocking". ArsTechnica. Retrieved 25 Feb 2014.
- Julia Boorstin (27 Mar 2008). "Comcast and BitTorrent: Enemies Become "Net-Neutral" Friends". CNBC. Retrieved 25 Feb 2014.
- Declan McCullagh (1 Aug 2008). "FCC formally rules Comcast's throttling of BitTorrent was illegal". Cnet. Retrieved 25 Feb 2014.
- Comcast sues FCC over network management finding. Multichannel.com. Retrieved on February 9, 2013.
- Declan McCullagh (6 Apr 2010). "Court: FCC has no power to regulate Net neutrality". Cnet. Retrieved 25 Feb 2014.
- EDWARD WYATT (19 Feb 2014). "F.C.C. Seeks a New Path on ‘Net Neutrality’ Rules". New York Times. Retrieved 25 Feb 2014.
- Adi Robertson (19 Feb 2014). "The FCC has a plan to save net neutrality, but no one likes it". TheVerge. Retrieved 25 Feb 2014.
- Stacey Higginbotham (29 Nov 2010). "Level 3, Comcast in a Cat Fight Over Online Video". Gigaom. Retrieved 25 Feb 2014.
- Ben Gilbert (21 Feb 2014). "Netflix's internet provider claims Verizon, Comcast and Time Warner are causing streaming bottlenecks (update)". Endgadget. Retrieved 25 Feb 2014.
- Stacey Higginbotham (21 Feb 2014). "Sources: Netflix and Comcast have reached a peering agreement". Gigaom. Retrieved 25 Feb 2014.
- Dawn C. Chmielewski (23 Feb 2014). "Netflix to pay Comcast for smoother online video streaming". LA Times. Retrieved 25 Feb 2014.
- Sam Gustin (23 Feb 2014). "Comcast’s Traffic Pact With Netflix Is Shrouded in Secrecy". Time. Retrieved 27 Feb 2014.
- Joshua Brustein (24 Feb 2014). "Netflix’s Deal With Comcast Isn’t About Net Neutrality—Except That It Is". Bloomberg. Retrieved 27 Feb 2014.
- Ben Charny (10 Jan 2005). "Comcast pushes VoIP to prime time". Cnet. Retrieved 17 Feb 2014.
- Leslie Ellis (17 Feb 2006). "Smart Pipes, Dumb Pipes and QoS". MultiChannel. Retrieved 8 Mar 2014.
- Stacey Higginbotham (19 Jan 2009). "FCC Asks if Comcast Slows Rivals' VoIP Traffic". Gigaom. Retrieved 7 Mar 2014.
- Kathryn A. Zachem (30 Jan 2009). "In the Matter of Formal Complaint of Free Press and Public Knowledge Against Comcast Corporation for Secretly Degrading Peer-to-Peer Applications, File No. EB-08-IH-1518". Comcast. Retrieved 8 Mar 2014.
- Matthew Lasar (3 Feb 2009). "Comcast defends itself against FCC’s VoIP probe". ArsTechnica. Retrieved 8 Mar 2014.
- Comcast Corp. "Comcast Launches Comcast Digital Voice(R) Phone Service in Santa Barbara County". PR Newswire. Retrieved 11 Mar 2014.
- MARK PETERS (17 Oct 2007). "Comcast Ends Older Phone Service". Hartford Courant. Retrieved 8 Mar 2014.
- "Comcast Reports Fourth Quarter and Year End 2009 Results". 3 Feb 2010. Retrieved 8 Mar 2014.
- "Comcast Reports 4th Quarter and Year End 2013 Results". Comcast. 28 Jan 2014. Retrieved 8 Mar 2014.
- Ben Charny (10 Jan 2005). "Comcast pushes VoIP to prime time". Cnet. Retrieved 17 Feb 2014.
- "Comcast Reports 4th Quarter and Year End 2013 Results". Comcast. 28 Jan 2014. Retrieved 17 Feb 2014.
- Leichtman Research Group, "Research Notes," First Quarter 2012, pg. 5. The company first gained status as the USA's third largest phone company in 2009. See: Comcast Now Third Largest Phone Company, DSLreports.com, March 11, 2009.
- "Local With More Calling Plan". Comcast. Retrieved 23 Feb 2014.
- "Comcast Reports Fourth Quarter and Year End Results". Comcast. 18 Feb 2009. Retrieved 16 Feb 2014.
- Bob Fernandez (9 Jan 2014). "Comcast reverses trend, gains TV subscribers". The Philadelphia Inquirer. Retrieved 17 Feb 2014.
- Mike Rogoway (22 Aug 2012). "Comcast moderates its annual cable TV rate hike, but the cost of Internet access is rising faster". The Oregonian. Retrieved 23 Feb 2014.
- JAMES HAGGERTY (24 Apr 2012). "Comcast to increase monthly fees for Xfinity cable services". The Times-Tribune. Retrieved 28 Feb 2014.
- STEVE HART (31 May 2012). "Comcast raising cable TV rates again". Press Democrat. Retrieved 28 Feb 2014.
- Phillip Dampier (10 Jul 2012). "Comcast’s Nationwide Rate Increase: Bill Padding "Regulatory Recovery" Fees Have Arrived". Stop The Cap. Retrieved 17 Feb 2014.
- Mike Farrell (22 Nov 2013). "Comcast to Introduce $1.50 Broadcast TV Fee". MultiChannel. Retrieved 17 Feb 2014.
- Roger Yu (2 Aug 2013). "Retransmission fee race poses questions for TV viewers". USA Today. Retrieved 18 Feb 2014.
- Katy Bachman (3 Mar 2011). "FCC to Consider Forcing B'casters, Distributors to Play Nice". AdWeek. Retrieved 18 Feb 2014.
- BRIAN STELTER (2 Aug 2010). "CBS and Comcast Reach a 10-Year Deal on Fees". New York Times. Retrieved 18 Feb 2014.
- "Disney-Comcast Make 10-Year Xfinity Multi-Platform Deal (Breaking)". Reuters. 4 Jan 2012. Retrieved 18 Feb 2014.
- Damon Poeter (12 Feb 2013). "Fox, Comcast Re-Up Xfinity Content Deal". PC Magazine. Retrieved 17 Feb 2014.
- Bob Wolfley (1 Mar 2012). "ESPN continues to lead cable by a mile in terms of subscriber fees". Milwaukee, Wisconsin Journal Sentinel. Retrieved 18 Feb 2014.
- Bob Fernandez (6 Jan 2014). "Fight continues over cable retransmission fees". The Philadelphia Inquirer. Retrieved 18 Feb 2014.
- Greg Stohr (11 Jan 2014). "Broadcasters Get U.S. Supreme Court Review in Bid to Stop Aereo". Bloomberg. Retrieved 18 Feb 2014.
- "Comcast Xfinity Home service". Retrieved 20 November 2, 2012.
- Comcast Speeds Up Business High-Speed-Data Offering, Glen Dickson, Broadcasting & Cable, April 29, 2008.
- Comcast Launches 100 Mbps High-Speed Internet Service for Businesses in the Twin Cities, Business Wire press release, September 8, 2009.
- "Comcast Business Class Overview". Business Class Cable News. Retrieved March 20, 2012.
- "Comcast Business Services Extends Availability of its Metro Ethernet Services through its Solutions Provider Program | Business Wire".
- Henderson, Khali (March 14, 2011). "Comcast Launches Agent Program". Channel Partners. Retrieved March 14, 2011.
- Henderson, Khali (January 19, 2011). "Comcast Taps Schlagbaum to Lead Channel". PHONE+. Retrieved January 19, 2011.