Why Comcast Is Putting $13M Down to Expand Philly’s Ethernet Again

The company made a similar announcement just last year.

Comcast Service Vehicles. jetcityimage | iStock

Comcast Business wants practically every single enterprise in the region on its Ethernet network. The company announced on Friday that it is dropping another round of millions — $13 million this time — to deploy more than 120 miles of new fiber optic cable across Greater Philadelphia and New Jersey.

The major expansion will reach more than 14,000 new businesses in Center City, King of Prussia, Mount Laurel, Princeton, Somerset, South Plainfield and Wilmington. Work is already underway and will continue into the first quarter of 2018.

The announcement comes about a year after the company said it was pumping $30 million for an Ethernet expansion in Philly alone. That expansion installed more than 50 miles of new fiber optic cable from Spring Garden to South Street and from the Delaware River to the Schuylkill River, Comcast said. Overall, since 2014, Comcast Business has invested more than $60 million in network expansion in the region, according to a press release.

“As demand for our high-performance Ethernet offerings continues to soar, Comcast Business recognizes the need to respond quickly to new businesses to provide scalable solutions that can meet demand as they grow,” said David Dombroski, regional vice president for Comcast Business. The network is capable of delivering up to 100 Gigabits-per-second (Gbps) of capacity.

But as Comcast looks to bring regional businesses of all sizes online, the company is under scrutiny from broadband advocates who say the company will move to create paid fast lanes on the internet if the FCC rolls back net neutrality in a vote on December 14. Comcast maintains it won’t block or throttle content, but has not said whether it will move toward paid prioritization.