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Comcast Business launches software defined wide area networking service

Comcast Business has launched its ActiveCore platform and its first service revolves around SD-WAN.
Written by Larry Dignan, Contributor

Comcast Business has launched its ActiveCore software defined networking platform in a bid to land more customers and target larger companies.

The ActiveCore SDN platform is delivered off of Comcast's cable network and gig-ready. The first service based on ActiveCore will be a software defined wide area networking service.

For enterprises, Comcast Business can be a solid counterweight to telecom providers. Comcast Business plans to use its ActiveCore SDN platform to enable enterprises to manage the network across multiple locations, data centers and branch officers.

According to Comcast Business, the company has signed up a bevy of software defined wide area networking customers.

Comcast Business is among the cable giant's fastest growing businesses. By embracing virtualized network functions, Comcast Business is planning to compete directly with legacy telecom networks and replace multiprotocol label switching over T1 lines. ActiveCore can be combined with Comcast's gigabit broadband service and is available in many regions with a full rollout by end of 2017.

In addition, Comcast Business SD-WAN features virtual private networking, application aware routing and network firewall.

For the six months ended June 30, Comcast Business revenue was $3 billion, up 13 percent from the same period a year earlier. Comcast Business growth has largely come from small- and medium-sized businesses, but the company is also adding larger enterprises.

David Watson, CEO of Comcast's cable unit, said on Comcast's second quarter earnings conference call that "the larger business services opportunity is enterprise." "It's upside for us. Currently we're -- within in our footprint, we're at less than 5% of the overall revenue opportunity," said Watson.

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CEO Brian Roberts said Comcast is seeing "great traction across all three of the customer segments that we serve: small, medium, and enterprise."

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