The most recent announcement came from Pennsylvania and southern New Jersey, where Supercuts signed on to use Comcast Business Internet, WiFi, voice and TV services in 33 franchises. The salons will use the technology to connect onsite cameras, offer free WiFi to guests, and upload real-time data to a mobile app that allows guests to view wait times and select stylists. The Internet connection offers a 50 Mbps download speed and 10 Mbps upload.
This followed on the heels of the news that Choice Hotels International named Comcast as a Qualified Vendor for business [http://www.broadbandtechreport.com/verticals/business-services.html], data, and voice services. This means any of the hotel's 5,000 franchises located in the cable operator's markets can choose Comcast Business Hospitality's suite of Ethernet, Internet, HDTV and advanced voice services to service their customers. Choice brands include Comfort Inn, Comfort Suites, Quality Inn, Sleep Inn, Clarion, Cambria Hotels & Suites, MainStay Suites, Suburban Extended Stay Hotel, Econo Lodge, Rodeway Inn and Ascend Hotels.
From the nonprofit side, the Sonoma County Farm Bureau, which represents farmers, ranchers and other agricultural industry constituents in Sonoma County, CA, upgraded from a legacy T-1 line, which provided its five employees 1.5 Mbps service, to a 50 Mbps Comcast Business Internet service. And Comcast Business VoiceEdge, a cloud-based voice and unified communications solution, will allow the bureau to communicate via computers, desktop phones and a mobile app.
In Baytown, TX, Comcast Business extended its fiber network into Cedar Crossing Industrial Park, which is the fifth largest in the United States, with 15,000 acres, 56 miles of rail, and a barge dock. It is home to the manufacturing, distribution, and logistics facilities of numerous companies, including Walmart, Home Depot, GE and Siemens. These businesses will have access to Ethernet Dedicated Internet, Ethernet Private Line, Ethernet Virtual Private Line, and Ethernet Network Services up to 10 Gbps and to Comcast Business VoiceEdge.
In June, Benjamin's Desk, a small-business incubator in Philadelphia, named Comcast Business its exclusive network services partner. Startup and entrepreneur members will have access to a 500 Mbps Ethernet dedicated Internet line that also supports the building's internal WiFi network and to Comcast Business VoiceEdge.
Also that month, Comcast Business announced a Business Wireless Gateway, developed by Cisco (NASDAQ:CSCO), that allows customers to assign one private wireless signal for their internal needs and a separate public signal for customers or businesses. This is included with most business Internet plans, and incidentally is one of the features that Supercuts will utilize (see above).
Comcast's hot summer followed several other big announcements during the first half of the year, including the extension of its fiber network in Rutland County Vermont, the award of a Schedule 70 contract with the General Services Administration that allows it to sell to federal, state and local government customers, and service contracts with Patterson Manufacturing in Pittsburgh, the Springfield Public School system in New Jersey, and mental-health provider NHS Human Services.