Comcast Corporation (NYSE:CMCSA) indicated that its investment in AI software and network capacity was vital in helping it handle internet traffic demand during the COVID-19 pandemic. The company is also making its way into the streaming space with the launch of Peacock.
AI software helped Comcast manage internet traffic during the pandemic
In an interview with VentureBeat, Comcast Xfinity’s SVP for next-gen access networks, Elad Nafshi stated that the company’s network held up well during the pandemic despite the surge in traffic due to people working remotely. However, the success was due to investment in AI and machine learning software rather than capital investment on fiber-optic networks. Nafshi added that AI offers the Comcast visibility, predicts problems on the network, and fixes them before they can be seen.
Currently, Comcast’s network is accessible to over 59 million homes in the US through 800,000 miles of cable. In March, the company indicated that internet traffic on the network had surged 32% due to the pandemic but assured users that it could meet peak traffic demands. Also, the company experienced a 36% growth in mobile data usage over Wi-Fi on Xfinity mobile. However, the traffic from the company’s 21 million subscribers has plateaued in recent weeks as people get back to work with the surge of remote working normalizing.
Comcast joins the streaming market
Comcast usually generates most of its revenue from cable TV and internet segments, but with accelerating cord-cutting, the company is diversifying into streaming space. There has been a lot being spoken about cord-cutting, but it seems to have offset the impact with strong growth of internet services and price changes. The free ad-supported tier of Peacock is a good way of drawing subscribers into the platform, considering Comcast is late in the streaming space.
The platform could succeed in considering the huge content library that is only behind Disney (NYSE:DIS) and ViacomCBS (NYSE:VIAC)—owing to its sports contracts and the current cable subscriber base, the company will likely outperform in terms of subscriber estimates.