Comcast CFO Michael Angelakis said the MSO hasn’t been affected much by the current economy, and he expects continuing growth, even though “it’s more than a scary world out there.”
He reiterated Comcast’s plans to convert up to 20 percent of its local networks to all-digital, and upgrade 20 percent of its systems to DOCSIS 3.0 – not necessarily the same systems – by the end of this year.
To that end, the company is likely to pick up its capex spending in the second half of the year, as compared with the first half.
Angelakis said Comcast will probably take anywhere from 18 to 24 months to upgrade all of its systems to all digital and to DOCSIS 3.0.
He commented that Comcast has become interested in some alternatives to going all digital, but he did not provide specifics.
Angelakis said the company will continue to provide more high-definition (HD) offerings, but he was dismissive of the competition to provide the greatest number of HD channels. To illustrate his point, he said he doubted anyone in the audience could specify how many HD channels they were receiving at home, and observed it was unlikely that anyone really needed to see C-SPAN in HD.
He noted that there are huge possible rewards associated with providing WiMAX broadband services via Sprint and Clearwire, a deal that is still in the process of being consummated. “When that happens, $3.2 billion of cash will start flowing,” he said, adding an interesting caveat: “And if the partners can agree and execute on the business plan, it will all work out nicely.”
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