Comcast Biz touts Chicago success stories

Business is moving fast in Chicago's Back of the Yards and Bridgeport neighborhoods. Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA) would say that's because of the five miles of fiber-optic network that its business services arm ...

Comcast, Cox ramp up IoT projects
Comcast, Cox ramp up IoT projects

Business is moving fast in Chicago's Back of the Yards and Bridgeport neighborhoods.

Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA) would say that's because of the five miles of fiber-optic network that its business services arm installed three years ago.

"(These) are vibrant communities with a high concentration of businesses, and they're great places to invest. Our network expansions here have been very successful," said Jay Dirkmaat, regional VP, Comcast Business.

The fiber-optic network delivers speeds of up to 10 Gbps and as much as 100 Gbps to nearly 300 small- and medium-sized businesses. Comcast also provides broadband via DOCSIS 3.1 in these communities, at speeds up to 1 Gbps.

"Each business has its own unique connectivity needs, and with both options available, we can work with businesses to customize solutions to meet their current and future needs," Dirkmaat said.

In addition to speed, the infrastructure investments Comcast Business has made also provide access to services like Connection Pro, which backs up customer networks; WiFi Pro, a mobile-friendly tool designed to help businesses manage customer and internal-facing networks; and Smart Office, which offers round-the-clock views of their property through cloud-based video monitoring.

The fiber buildout has been a "gamechanger," said Craig Chico, president and CEO, Back of the Yards Neighborhood Council. "When we market our community to prospective businesses, one of the first questions they ask is, 'Can I get fiber?'" Chico said.

Morgan Services, a textile rental company and one of the businesses that has taken advantage of Comcast's fiber, has operations nationwide. It requires real-time data to ensure orders are processed correctly and on time.

"Our Internet speeds have doubled, and our broadband now has the capacity to run a host of operational and logistical functions that help us work more efficiently," said Brian Berg, Morgan's director of IT.

And La Guadalupana, a Hispanic food manufacturer and distributor, found filling orders from the field difficult before Comcast's Advanced Voice service.

"With our previous phone system, it was easy to lose track of orders and miss out on sales. That doesn't happen anymore, because Comcast Business' Voice Edge cloud-based support allows us to take calls and receive messages regardless of our staff's location," said Alejandro Castro, La Guadalupana president.

Comcast Business has completed network expansions in downtown Chicago and other business and industrial hubs in the greater Chicago area.

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