By Kalyn Hove, Regional Senior Vice President, Comcast Twin Cities
Over one year has passed since the world shifted its focus on connectivity as we knew it, to taking everything online. In fact, the pandemic posed one of the biggest technological tests in the history of the Internet.
Overnight millions of people transitioned to working, learning and consuming all their entertainment at home. According to the Broadband Internet Technical Advisory Group, in March and April 2020, internet traffic surged 30 percent nationwide and as much as 60 percent in some areas. Networks were given the task of supporting this unprecedented surge in usage, while being pressed to improve the at-home experience. While the pandemic was new and unprecedented, Comcast was ready because of investments and innovations made years before.
Investments Made Pre-pandemic were Key
For years, we’ve made strategic investments in building capacity not just to meet our customers’ current needs, but to stay well ahead of future demand. That’s why every two and a half years, Comcast has doubled capacity to its network and, in the last three years alone, invested nearly $445 million in technology and infrastructure in Minnesota to upgrade our broadband network.
Connectivity is the center of our customers’ lives, so we’ve built a network that combines gig speeds with wall-to-wall WiFi, and millions of hotspots to provide the speed, coverage and control they need. Since 2017, Comcast has invested $15 billion nationwide to strengthen and expand our network—including building more than 39,000 new route miles of fiber, which is like driving from Portland, Oregon to Portland, Maine more than 10 times!
Continuous Innovation is Crucial to Network Success
Our teams of technologists across the country work to create and deliver innovations that provide faster speeds, more capacity and greater reliability. Comcast is a leader in the 10G initiative, which leverages new standards and technology to dramatically increase internet speeds. The technology lays the groundwork for network operators, like us, to deliver multigigabit download and upload speeds over connections already installed in hundreds of millions of homes worldwide. Meaning, we can deliver multigigabit speeds to homes without the need for digging and construction projects.
In addition, we developed a platform that automates many core network functions, which reduces the number of outages and how long they last. We also developed an AI platform that automatically optimizes the performance of 50 million devices across the Comcast network every 20 minutes. And, we have a team of security experts working 24 hours a day,365 days a year to detect and block suspicious cyber events.
Supporting the New Normal
The pandemic changes the way many people work and live. As more and more professionals, students and families navigate a fully remote or hybrid environment, the communities that can offer reliable internet connectivity for people to work from anywhere will have a competitive advantage.
We know that connectivity matters more now more than ever, and people across the country are relying on us to keep them connected to work, school, and their families. That is why we engineer the network for peak capacity to handle spikes and shifts in usage patterns. We regularly invest in our network and have thousands of engineers nationally and locally who work to add capacity where it’s needed.
A reliable and forward-thinking network provider is tantamount to success. Comcast is well-positioned to help businesses, schools and families stay connected. We are invested in the Twin Cities, and we remain relentlessly focused on connectivity, to deliver the smartest, fastest, most reliable network to the communities we serve – keeping you connected to more of who and what you love.
About the author: Kalyn Hove is the Regional Senior Vice President of Comcast Twin Cities.