Comcast Business Services is beefing up its infrastructure in Houston with a last-mile fiber-optic build-out that will connect more than 3,000 small- and medium-size businesses to its Ethernet, Internet, voice and cloud-based services.

The fiber build started in August and is slated to be finished early next year. Comcast said the fiber investment was in response to strong demand for Comcast's Business Class offerings, as well as to support broader community efforts to expand the city's telecommunications and information technology infrastructure.

"Houston continues to grow and draw in new businesses that are going to need the tools necessary to flourish in today's tech-savvy environment," said Houston Mayor Annise Parker. "Comcast's network investment supports this, allowing businesses in Houston to further prepare themselves for tomorrow, in addition to attracting other new companies that require these services to serve their own customers effectively."

Comcast Business Services will be extending its fiber network downtown and into a number of multi-tenant office buildings, including Chase Tower, the largest building in the state. To support the new services, Comcast confirmed that it had hired six new employees for a total of 26 employees on its enterprise sales team.

"Our fiber network expansion in downtown Houston represents Comcast's commitment to provide the market with the services needed to stay ahead of technology trends and remain competitive as businesses adopt new technology at a rapid rate," said Byron Cantrall, vice president of Comcast Business Services for the Houston Region. "We are investing in a thriving business community that has seen incredible growth over the last year and appears on track to bring more jobs, more businesses and more people to the area, creating an even greater need for reliable, high-capacity business services that help increase efficiency and promote productivity."

The Houston project is part of a larger effort by Comcast Business Services to pursue network expansions in targeted metro regions to expand its fiber footprint and the reach of its services to more small- and mid-size businesses. Similar efforts are underway in Comcast’s hometown of Philadelphia and in Chicago.

Earlier this year, Comcast Business Services finished a fiber-optical backbone in the downtown area of San Mateo, Calif., in order to better serve local businesses.