Comcast has set its sights on the national business service market dominated by Verizon and AT&T, as it announced plans Wednesday to expand its regional business operations with the creation of a new national unit that would target Fortune 1000 companies and other large corporate accounts. While Comcast has marketed broadband, video and voice services to small and mid-size businesses since 2007, service has mainly been confined to the company’s cable markets. In addition to expanding Comcast’s business footprint nationwide, the plan would also enable Comcast to capitalize on a key growth area that promises to offset cable revenue losses that have impacted Comcast and other cable-based multichannel video program distributors in recent years. Although Comcast lost 69,000 cable TV subscribers during the second quarter, revenues from Comcast’s business unit jumped by 20% during the same period to $1.16 billion. Comcast’s business service division also generated $4 billion in revenues last year, representing a 22% increase over the previous year.
To bring its nationwide business service goals to fruition, Comcast has signed agreements with cable operators in markets outside of its service territories that will provide Comcast with wholesale network capacity it needs to provide service. Comcast will also launch its service with the backing of Contingent Network Services, a provider of managed Internet connections for large companies which Comcast acquired earlier this year. Asserting that the projected total market opportunity for Comcast in the nationwide enterprise service sector could reach $40 billion, Comcast Business Services President Bill Stemper told reporters, “we’re prepared to talk to businesses of any size and any geography.”