It appears that cable companies such as Comcast are making inroads into the market for telephone and internet access, bought by businesses, that was formerly dominated by traditional telephone companies like AT&T and Verizon.
According to the Philadelphia Inquirer Comcast says that Verizon and AT&T have neglected small businesses, and that its cable-and-fiber network already passes many Main Street businesses but does not connect with them. So this won’t be a huge capital investment. Comcast executives say they hope to capture with the “Business Class” service about 20 percent of the small-business revenue in their area by 2011. This would pump up revenue $2 billion to $3 billion a year. Comcast’s total revenue last year was $31 billion.
The new division has added 1,000 salespeople in the United States in the last year and has said it will open business-only call centers. One is already located in Plymouth Meeting, with 130 employees. Small-business customers “have never really had someone calling on them with viable alternatives,” said Bill Stemper, Comcast’s president of business services.
While most of you reading this have cable, DSL or T1 service already, if you’re not happy with it it’s not too late to switch and not as hard as you might think. The biggest hassle of changing providers is giving up your IP address. If you have servers or other devices which rely on a fixed IP address to connect to the Internet, get a professional to help you make the switch. If your email and web site, however, are hosted by 3rd parties, switching ISPs shouldn’t be that hard at all.
I know from first hand experience that cable providers are VERY hungry for your business and are investing money to get to know smaller businesses on a much more personal and local level.
DSLReports.com is a good resource for all things broadband
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