Total Recall ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Comcast is doing well with their internet business in the pandemic. Owning a high speed internet service, especially during the pandemic, is a great business. Just having any significant stake in major internet-related access is a worthwhile — at least as long as end consumers are paying for it.
There have been various degrees of “let’s make free internet access everywhere a reality” but the logistics of “free” are a subject beyond the scope of this post. I will say anything labeled as “free” is a business illusion. There are no truly, completely free lunches in this world, unless maybe we’re talking about air and you might remember in Total Recall the antagonist Vilos Cohaagen (Ronnie Cox) profited from the air on Mars.
It’s a different story, though, for Comcast’s legacy business. Surging use of streaming-video services and the rising number of smart devices per household are driving more people to seek internet service and faster speeds. Comcast signed up 800,000 internet subscribers in the first half of the year, nearly offsetting the 815,000 residential pay-TV customers it lost in that span. The unit generated 61% of Comcast’s revenue in the June quarter and 77% of its adjusted Ebitda.As Disney Retreats, AT&T and Comcast Have Options
Those who are cutting the cord in mass exodus from traditional cable might think Comcast is hemorrhaging cash. It would seem Comcast understood this by the launch of Peacock, their Flex box and $100 million acquisition of Xumo (which now has 24+ million subscribers) in early 2020. They seem to be pivoting to that business vs. losing their customers completely — those that don’t have/need their internet service.
Whether or not the Flex box is any kind of contender vs. Roku, Amazon Fire and the new Google Chromecast + TV remains to be seen. The logical bet would be on Amazon on Google, although I’d like to see Roku continue to be the leader in the space simply because they are not Amazon or Google. A business should only get so big in the tech space before it is too big. There should be no argument, except from those investing in these two tech goliath’s, that they are too big.
So … what does this mean?
Unless you are looking for a future where free Wi-Fi is everywhere, probably controlled by ads (sigh), having your own home internet service will remain a staple utility like water, sewer and garbage service. Yes, you could be on a well and use nature to avoid those as well. I almost mentioned electricity, but in the move to go green, solar increasingly is looking like the way to go there.
We’re in a seismic shift from the old guards to new guards. Those in the tech sector are familiar with this activity and some even embracing it.
Whatever you’re reading out there about Comcast possibly being in some kind of trouble, articles like the one above are much closer to the reality, or so at least this early adopter, once upon a time horror novelist techie thinks. Sure, their customer base needs are changing, but then that writing has been on the wall for years now.