Comcast Cable Customers Increase Broadband Usage by 11% in 2021

Downstream traffic on Comcast’s U.S. broadband network continues to grow, up 11% from 2020, the company said.

This follows what the company calls “all-time highs in 2020”. Upstream traffic also grew in 2021, but by a more modest rate of 5%, the company said.

Charlie Herrin, President of Technology, Products and Experience at Comcast Cable, said, “The outstanding network performance throughout this period is a testament to our commitment to strategic investment, relentless innovation, and leadership. ‘incredible talent and dedication of our technology teams across the country.”

Comcast, which also owns Sky in the UK, is the largest cable TV operator in the US, with around 19.3 million homes connected.

In January 2022, it announced its intention to upgrade its customers to 10 Gbps technology, after testing a prototype single-chip modem.

This week’s data shows more modest increases than what Comcast calls “the all-time highs of 2020 — when peak downstream traffic grew 38% and upstream traffic 56%.” But the company notes that traffic continues to increase.

“Over the past two years, our network has been a powerful and reliable pillar for our customers as they navigate dramatic changes in the way we live, learn, play and work,” said Herrin.

As expected for customers who are primarily consumers, video streaming accounted for more than two-thirds of traffic on Comcast’s network, or 71% of the total.

Comcast households are also gamers, with online gaming accounting for 11%. Web browsing accounted for only 9% of traffic.

Daily rush hours shifted toward pre-pandemic norms throughout the year, the company says: Peak upstream traffic times were 10:00 a.m. in January, 3:00 p.m. in June and 10:00 p.m. in December.

Elad Nafshi, EVP and Chief Network Officer at Comcast Cable, said, “Network investment is important, but Comcast’s network architects and software engineers are also innovating at the speed of software. Our colleagues leading these innovations are creating the future for our customers.

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