Comcast Places Bigger Target on Bigger Businesses

Looking to punch up its ability to go up-market with commercial services, Comcast Business said it is beta testing a new software-defined wide area networking (SD-WAN) platform for mid-sized and enterprise-level customers.

Comcast said the beta platform, developed in partnership with Versa Networks and its Cloud IP Platform, will enable it to match gigabit-class speeds with the agility of software-defined networks that likewise steer it away from purpose-built hardware and put more emphasis on areas such as centralized network policy management and components that will drive more efficiency and simplicity into the network. Comcast unveiled the trial in tandem with this week’s Interop ITX show in Las Vegas.

“Our SD-WAN solution pairs a carrier-grade, hosted SDN environment with widely available gigabit service," Kevin O’Toole, senior vice president of product management for Comcast Business, said in a statement. "Together, our SD-WAN and gigabit bandwidth solutions herald a new generation of networking that provides the bandwidth, scalability, reliability and flexibility needed to power the cloud applications that are transforming business operations."

Comcast Business said the SD-WAN beta trial will continue throughout the summer, and expects to follow with a full market launch later this year.

Comcast Business also noted that it’s rolling out Business Internet 1000, a DOCSIS 3.1-based gigabit internet service, for commercial customers.

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The SD-WAN product will help Comcast Business as it continues to go up-market and pursue larger commercial customers while putting more competitive heat on incumbent telcos.

RELATED: Comcast Business Bows New Unit Targeting Fortune 1000

Comcast’s business services unit delivered $1.5 billion in revenues in Q1, up 13.6%, with about 70% of its revenue and 60% of its growth still coming way of the small business sector.

Comcast also posted a video with O’Toole that provides more detail about the SD-WAN strategy: