Comcast exec says yeah, competitition made us do it

15 October 2015 by Steve Blum
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The only sure way to respond to a threat.

Comcast has a habit of upgrading and extending its infrastructure when the threat of competition raises its beautiful head. That’s a deliberate strategy, and not a coincidence, according to a Comcast executive quoted by FierceTelecom

Speaking to attendees during the opening afternoon sessions during SCTE 2015, Jorge Salinger, VP of access for Comcast, said that the cable industry’s development of the DOCSIS 3.1 specification has come together very quickly and is being driven by an emergence of new broadband competition from Google Fiber and telcos like AT&T and CenturyLink.

“It’s an incredibly fast moving specification and the reason for that is competition — competition for cable operators and competition for … equipment vendors and that is helping the acceleration,” Salinger said. “On the equipment side, there is silicon available from three suppliers and there are multiple cable modems so the development of the equipment has been very rapid.”

A few weeks after the unveiling of a city-backed fiber to the home project proposed by Cruzio, an ISP with a 15% share of the local market, Comcast started pushing faster Internet speeds into Santa Cruz. It’s responded similarly to municipal broadband projects in San Leandro, Lompoc and elsewhere in California.

It’s a familiar pattern. For years, residents complain about poor service and businesses struggle to find affordable commercial and industrial grade Internet access. Local officials hold meetings and Comcast makes vague promises. And nothing is done. Until genuine competition appears.

The correlation between municipal competition and Comcast upgrades has always been strong. Now we know it’s no coincidence.