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Comcast Earmarks $100M For Network Expansions in Chicago

Comcast said it will spend nearly $100 million over the next three years to expand its fiber and coax networks to “diverse” areas of downtown Chicago, including parts of its central, east, north, West Loop, River North and River West regions.

Comcast said the project will result in a network expansion to “thousands” of businesses and residences in those locations, including some new office and residential buildings currently underway or proposed for development in the next three years.

“Chicago is the largest metropolitan area Comcast serves. We live, work and provide service here, so these projects are more than just good business. They’re an investment in the region’s economic future – a future we all share,” John Crowley, Comcast’s GCR senior vice president, said in a statement.

“Traditional brick and mortar businesses have dominated the Chicago area’s economy.  But we’re at a crossroads, and the technology sector is playing a greater and greater role in the region’s economy,” added Jeff Malehorn, president and CEO, World Business Chicago. “Projects like these downtown, city neighborhood, suburban and other fiber expansions will play a role in advancing the Chicago area’s economy.”

Over the last 20 years, Comcast said it has invested on average $300 million annually in its network in its Greater Chicago Region over the past 20 years, and that it has built about 11,000 miles of fiber across the region. 

Comcast estimates that its Chicago network passes nearly 90% of area businesses and a larger percentage of residential homes. In Chicago, Comcast currently offers Gigabit Pro, an FTTP-based 2 Gbps broadband service, and is setting the table to launch gigabit services via DOCSIS 3.1 there later this year.