Comcast already on pace to spend $50B on networks, despite Title II rollback promise

Comcast Xfinity store in Denver
Comcast has been on a quest to upgrade its networks to the DOCSIS 3.1 standard. (Comcast)

Despite tying a projected five-year capital expenditure figure of $50 billion to the FCC’s recent decision to roll back its net neutrality mandates, an analysis of Comcast’s capex reveals that the top U.S. cable operator was on track to spend about that much even before the agency voted to deregulate. 

On Dec. 20, just days after the Republican-led FCC Commission voted to roll back its Title II regulations adopted two years prior, and hours after the Congress reduced the corporate tax burden, Comcast CEO Brian Roberts issued a statement, pledging $1,000 bonuses to about 100,000 “eligible frontline and nonexecutive employees.”

Roberts also pledged that Comcast would spend $50 billion over the next five years “investing in infrastructure to radically improve and extend our broadband plant and capacity, and our television, film and theme park offerings.”


Like this story? Subscribe to FierceVideo!

The Video industry is an ever-changing world where big ideas come along daily. Cable, Media and Entertainment, Telco, and Tech companies rely on FierceVideo for the latest news, trends, and analysis on video creation and distribution, OTT delivery technologies, content licensing, and advertising strategies. Sign up today to get news and updates delivered to your inbox and read on the go.

RELATED: Comcast, AT&T trickle down $1K bonuses to employees after corporate tax bonanza

According to figures provided to Fierce by MoffettNathanson last year, Comcast’s overall capex increased 7.3% to $7.597 billion in 2016, and it was projected to grow to $8.445 billion in 2017, a 10.4% increase. Compounding the latter rate of growth over the next five years would exceed $50 billion in capex.

Meanwhile, in its own analysis based on Comcast’s most recent capex figure, the $2.4 billion spent in the third quarter of 2017, Ars Technica concludes that the operator would spend around $48 billion over the next five years if its spending held steady at that rate. 

As Ars Technica noted, from the end of the third quarter of 2016 through the third quarter of 2017, Comcast spent $9.4 billion on capex. 

Like other cable operators, Comcast has been on a quest to upgrade its networks to the DOCSIS 3.1 standard. 

Suggested Articles

Comcast/NBCUniversal is planning an investor day on January 16 to discuss details about its upcoming streaming service, Peacock.

Parks Associates has released its list of the top 10 U.S. streaming video services, which could change drastically by this time next year.

Fox and AWS have signed a multi-year strategic collaboration agreement to build an integrated, cloud-based platform for video distribution.