Around The Network: Comcast Examines the New Infrastructure

The new Infrastructure: Connectivity and Technology

With more than 68,000 miles of network infrastructure spanning the region, we can partner with you to get Ready for Anything

“Infrastructure” has become the word of the year. With the 2020 Cares Act and American Rescue Plan Act dollars making their way into our communities, and a massive infrastructure proposal on the table in Washington, citizens, government agencies, planners, developers and technology and connectivity providers need to come to the table and work together to make the best use of these once-in-a-generation resources. If the pandemic taught us anything, it’s that connectivity and technology are infrastructure and will be even more deeply embedded in our lives and our built worlds.

Comcast’s powerful network spans the region, supports next generation development

Comcast has 68,000+ miles of advanced network infrastructure in our Greater Chicago Region – which spans from Central Illinois through Northern Indiana into Southwest Michigan, with Chicago at its center. We can deliver residential download speeds up to 1.2 Gbps across the entire region. In addition, we have more than 20 million WiFi hotspots nationwide – nearly 2 million in the region alone – which allow connectivity on the go. Comcast Business offers speeds up to 100 Gbps and a suite of advanced telecommunications services for businesses of all sizes. And Comcast’s MachineQ builds, connects and deploys low power, wide-area Internet of Things (IoT) solutions. In recent years, we’ve partnered with municipalities and developers across the region to bring fiber infrastructure directly to business and industrial corridors so they can compete with communities across the state and across the world.

Over the past decade, Comcast has invested more than $30 billion in its network nationwide to increase capacity and reliability and deliver the best possible customer experience, not just to meet our residential and business customers’ current needs, but to stay ahead of future demand. This forward-thinking approach helped us meet the rapid increase in network demand that started at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic and remained elevated for months. And it’s what helped us stay ahead of the doubling of demand for Internet capacity that occurs every two years or so, resulting from the growth of remote work, distance learning, telemedicine, video streaming, online access to government services, the rapidly increasing number of connected devices and other phenomena. It’s also what’s going to help us have an impact on the future of built worlds across the region and the country and drive our economy forward.

Ensuring everyone is connected is crucial for our future

To be effective, digital equity needs to be a top consideration – our plans and our infrastructure need to serve everyone. Comcast has a variety of existing programs designed to address income constraints and has been working with local governments, school districts and community organizations to not only offer connectivity but also partner on initiatives to invest in workforce skill development. First and foremost among these is Internet Essentials, a low-cost residential broadband Internet service for eligible low-income families, seniors, veterans, college students, people with disabilities and others enrolled in public assistance programs, ranging from Medicaid, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) to the federal Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and housing assistance programs. Since the program launched in 2011, it has connected more than 10 million Americans to the Internet at home – including more than 1 million here in Illinois alone. During the pandemic, Comcast partnered with more than 75 school districts and government agencies to connect thousands more students to the Internet at home so they could participate in distance learning programs. Our network infrastructure is what allowed us to step up even further during the Covid-19 pandemic and will help us help our communities address digital equity in the future.

Comcast’s goal is to ensure that our built worlds everywhere make us ready for anything.

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