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Comcast’s Investment in High-Speed Internet Could Benefit Amazon

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Apr. 11 2018, Updated 7:33 a.m. ET

32,000 business Internet customers gained in 4Q17

Comcast (CMCSA) invested $1.7 million to expand its fiber-based network in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. The investment saw Comcast reach hundreds of businesses in Harrisburg with service capable of delivering Internet speeds of up to 100 Gbps. 

Comcast, through its Comcast Business unit, is one of the fastest-growing fiber network providers in the US, with a presence in 20 of the nation’s top 25 markets. The expansion of the fiber network in Harrisburg underscores Comcast’s efforts to tap into the growing demand for ultrafast Internet speeds as businesses move their workloads to the cloud. 

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Comcast gained 32,000 business Internet customers in 4Q17, ending the year with more than 2.0 million business Internet customers. The company had less than 1.9 million business Internet customers at the end of 2016. Comcast is also investing in boosting Internet speeds for its residential customers.

Comcast’s efforts could fuel uptake of cloud services

Comcast’s investments in high-speed Internet for businesses could be a blessing to cloud computing providers such as Amazon (AMZN), Microsoft (MSFT), and Alphabet’s (GOOGL) Google. As more businesses obtain access to ultrafast Internet speeds, cloud vendors could garner more customers for their services and see increased usage among existing customers. 

Amazon’s cloud computing arm, Amazon Web Services (or AWS), generated $5.1 billion in revenues in 4Q17, compared to $1.0 billion in revenues generated by Google Cloud. However, Microsoft’s share of the global cloud market saw its fastest increase in 2017, according to Synergy Research.

Creating a market for online video providers

Online video providers such as Amazon, Netflix (NFLX), and Google’s YouTube could also benefit from efforts by companies such as Comcast to take high-speed Internet to more businesses and consumers.

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