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Ajit Pai promised faster broadband expansion—Comcast cut spending instead

Enlarge / Comcast Xfinity van in Santa Clara, California, August 17, 2017. (credit: Getty Images | Smith Collection/Gado)

Comcast reduced capital spending on its cable division in 2019, devoting less money to network extensions and improvements despite a series of government favors that were supposed to accelerate broadband expansions.

“For the twelve months ended December 31, 2019, Cable capital expenditures decreased 10.5 percent to $6.9 billion,” down from $7.7 billion in 2018, Comcast, the nation’s largest home Internet provider, said in its earnings announcement last week. “Cable capital expenditures represented 11.9 percent of Cable revenue compared to 13.8 percent in 2018.”

Comcast cable revenue rose 3.7 percent, from $56 billion in 2018 to $58.1 billion in 2019. Cable-division EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortization) rose 7.3 percent, from $21.7 billion to $23.3 billion in 2019.

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