Your Time Is Valuable; We Don’t Want To Waste It

By Charlie Herrin, SVP, Customer Experience, Comcast Cable

You have things to do. Waiting for us to show up shouldn’t be one of them. That’s why we’ve narrowed our service windows to two hours or less. Even with that progress, it isn’t good enough. You should know when we are arriving.

Last week, our CEO Brian Roberts demoed one of our new features at an event in San Francisco that enables our customers to track our technicians’ arrival in real time. This new feature, which will be available for free through our MyAccount app, begins trialing outside Boston this week.

This is how it works. Customers with scheduled appointments will be alerted through our App when our technician is about 30 minutes away from arriving at their house, and will be able to track this technician’s progress on a map. We’re hoping this will prevent our customers from just needing to sit at home and wait. They can check the app from the office, or wherever they are, and head home when they see we’re on our way. If we are running late, which can happen if our tech gets tied up at someone else’s house, we will let folks know that too, and provide real-time status updates so they can plan accordingly.

appointment tracking photo

Feedback is critical to us, especially as we look to make every experience great, so also included is a “rate the experience” feature so that customers can rate the quality of service they received from us in the app. If the experience isn’t what it should have been, customers can let us know, and we will call them to see how we can correct the situation as quickly as possible.

All of this is going into trial now, and we’re excited to get our customers’ feedback and continue to update and refine the experience. We’ll keep you posted on what we’re hearing from the trial. If all goes well, we’re hoping to bring this new experience to customers in the new year.

Minnesota Timberwolves, Lynx Tap Comcast Business for High Speed Internet, Video Services

ST. PAUL, Minn. — Comcast Business and the Minnesota Timberwolves and Lynx today announced a new partnership to provide high-performance Ethernet Dedicated Internet connectivity for the teams’ new training center located in Mayo Clinic Square. The agreement will provide the Timberwolves and Lynx organization with the necessary bandwidth critical to meeting the increasing demands of today’s hyper-connected business environment.

MN Timberwolves logoThe Timberwolves and Lynx will use a Comcast Business Ethernet 500 Mbps symmetrical fiber optic connection to send and receive bandwidth-hungry applications such as video, graphics, and other data-intensive files across a variety of locations to computers, mobile devices and other screens throughout the organization’s new facility in Mayo Clinic Square. In addition, Comcast Business will provide high definition video service to all corporate suites at Target Center.

“We’re looking forward to taking advantage of all this service has to offer,” said Ryan Tanke, Timberwolves and Lynx Senior Vice President and Chief Revenue Officer. “There are many exciting changes in the months ahead for the Timberwolves and Lynx. Our new training center will be a state of the art facility, and it’s a perfect fit to have Comcast Business and their first class technology on board.”

The Timberwolves and Lynx are currently building their new corporate headquarters and training center in the redeveloped Mayo Clinic Square, formerly known as Block E in downtown Minneapolis. The organization plans to make the facility transparent and accessible for fans and its youth basketball program. The new training center is expected to be completed in 2015.

Minnesota Lynx logo“Everything about sports relies on faster connections to send video, data and image files,” said Kalyn Hove, Vice President, Comcast Business – Twin Cities Region. “We are very pleased to leverage Comcast’s Ethernet service on its fiber network to extend this level of high speed connectivity to the Timberwolves and Lynx at Mayo Clinic Square.” Hove added, “With the Wolves’ high-profile off-season acquisitions and incredible momentum of the two-time WNBA champion Lynx, it’s a great time to be a fan and we’re excited to partner with these franchises in their success.”

Comcast Business Ethernet provides scalable bandwidth resources of up to 10-gigabits per second. Comcast Business TV offers more than 150 channels of news and entertainment programming.

About Comcast Business
Comcast Business, a unit of Comcast Cable, provides advanced communication solutions to help organizations of all sizes meet their business objectives. Through a next-generation network that is backed by 24/7 technical support, Comcast delivers Business Internet, Ethernet, TV and a full portfolio of Voice services for cost-effective, simplified communications management. For more information, call 866-429-3085.

Follow us on Twitter @ComcastBusiness and at http://business.comcast.com/social.

About Comcast Cable
Comcast Cable is the nation’s largest video, high-speed Internet and phone provider to businesses and residential customers. Comcast has invested in technology to build an advanced network that delivers among the fastest broadband speeds, and brings customers personalized video, communications and home management offerings. Comcast Corporation (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) is a global media and technology company. Visit www.comcastcorporation.com for more information.

X1 Talks: Comcast Launches Industry’s First Voice Guided TV Interface

PHILADELPHIA, PA – Comcast today announced the industry’s first voice-enabled television user interface, a solution that will revolutionize the way its Xfinity TV customers, especially those who are blind or visually impaired, navigate the X1 platform. The “talking guide” features a female voice that reads aloud selections like program titles, network names and time slots as well as DVR and On Demand settings. The feature will be available to all X1 customers in the next few weeks.

About 19 million U.S. households have at least one member with a disability and according to the U.S. Census, there are 8.1 million people with a visual disability. In 2012, Comcast hired Tom Wlodkowski as Vice President of Audience to focus on the usability of the company’s products and services by people with disabilities.

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“Television is universally loved, and we want everyone to be able to enjoy it,” Brian Roberts, Chairman and CEO, Comcast “The talking guide feature will enable all of our customers to experience the X1 platform in a new way, and give our blind and visually impaired customers the freedom to independently explore and navigate thousands of shows and movies. We’re just scratching the surface of what’s possible in the accessibility space and we are thrilled to have Tom and his team leading the charge.”

The talking guide “speaks” what’s on the screen as the viewer navigates the “Guide,” “Saved,” “On Demand,” and “Settings” sections of X1 and includes details like individual program descriptions and ratings from Common Sense Media and Rotten Tomatoes that help viewers decide what to watch. Future versions of the feature will include functionality within the “Search” section of X1 and additional personalization settings like rate of speech.

“The talking guide is as much about usability as it is about accessibility,” said Mr. Wlodkowski. “We think about accessibility from the design of a product all the way through production and this feature is the result of years of work by our team including customer research, focus groups and industry partnerships. For people like me who are blind, this new interface opens up a whole new world of options for watching TV.”

X1 customers will be able to activate the talking guide on their existing set top box by tapping the “A” button twice on their remote control. The feature also can be turned on via the “accessibility settings” within the main settings menu. Click here to see how it works.

“Programming my DVR is one of the most empowering things I have ever done with my TV,” said Eric Bridges, Director of External Relations and Policy Development at The American Council of the Blind (ACB), who participated in a Comcast customer trial over the summer. “My wife and I are both blind, so thanks to this new feature, we no longer have to choose between going out to dinner or catching our favorite show. The talking guide encourages independence and self-sufficiency; it’s a real game-changer for anyone who is blind and loves TV.”

Next year, Comcast plans to partner with service organizations and nonprofits to create awareness in the disability community of Voice Guidance and other accessibility features that offer a more inclusive entertainment experience.

“TV is such an important and integral part of the fabric of our culture that to be excluded from that experience in any way makes it more difficult for blind people to participate fully in society,” said Amy Ruell, a Comcast customer. “I had a chance to test this feature over the summer and I probably watch more TV than ever thanks to the talking guide. Comcast’s commitment to accessibility is encouraging because it means there will be tremendous progress in developing technology that is universally accessible.”

The talking guide is the latest in a series of innovations created in the Comcast Accessibility Lab. In addition to voice guidance and one-touch access to closed captioning, Comcast created an online help and support resource for Xfinity customers looking for information about accessibility-related topics. The webpage includes an overview of accessibility products and services, support for third-party assistive devices, information related to Braille or large-print bills and the ability to connect with accessibility support specialists.

The company also has a service center specifically dedicated to customers with disabilities. Comcast’s Accessibility Center of Excellence is based in Pensacola, FL, where a team of specially trained care agents handles about 10,000 calls each month.

Comcast to Carry All Timberwolves Telecasts on FOX Sports North During 2014-15 Season

ST. PAUL, MN (October 28, 2014) — Comcast today announced an agreement with FOX Sports Network to carry all scheduled Minnesota Timberwolves telecasts on FOX Sports North during the 2014-15 season. In total, the Twin Cities largest cable and broadband provider will televise 75 Timberwolves basketball games on FOX Sports North.

MN Timberwolves logoFOX Sports North’s regular season coverage begins Wednesday, Oct. 29 as the Wolves take on the Memphis Grizzlies in the team’s season opener. The evening’s telecast begins at 6 p.m. with a one-hour pre-game edition of Wolves Live. FOX Sports North will also cover the Wolves Target Center home opener against the Detroit Pistons on Thursday, Oct. 30.

“Comcast is committed to providing the best possible sports experience anywhere,” said Jeff Freyer, Regional Vice President, Comcast – Twin Cities Region. “As big Minnesota Timberwolves fans, we’re excited to bring all Wolves telecasts on FOX Sports North to our Twin Cities and Greater Minnesota customers.”

Play-by-play announcer Dave Benz and color analyst Jim Petersen will once again be courtside for this season’s Timberwolves telecasts. Fans can also catch Tom Hanneman, Marney Gellner, and Jamie Hersch before and after every game on Wolves Live.

Check local listings for specific channel lineup information in your area.

About Comcast Cable:
Comcast Cable is the nation’s largest video, high-speed Internet and phone provider to residential customers under the XFINITY brand and also provides these services to businesses. Comcast has invested in technology to build an advanced network that delivers among the fastest broadband speeds, and brings customers personalized video, communications and home management offerings. Comcast Corporation (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) is a global media and technology company. Visit www.comcastcorporation.com for more information.

Comcast To Telecast Select MSU Mankato Mavericks Men’s Hockey Games For 2014-15 Season

ST. PAUL, MN — Comcast today announced an agreement to telecast select Minnesota State University – Mankato men’s hockey games during the 2014-15 season. In total, the Twin Cities largest cable and broadband provider will televise 16 Mavericks men’s hockey games, none of which will be available from area satellite companies.

Comcast customers in the company’s Minnesota and Western Wisconsin service area will be able to enjoy the following games:

  • October 18, 2014:               MSU-Mankato vs. Minnesota Duluth
  • October 24 & 25, 2014:     MSU-Mankato vs. Alabama Huntsville
  • November 7, 2014:             MSU-Mankato vs. Bemidji State
  • December 5 & 6, 2014:      MSU-Mankato vs. Alaska
  • December 12 & 13, 2014:  MSU-Mankato vs. Princeton
  • January 30 & 31, 2015:     MSU-Mankato vs. Ferris State
  • February 6 & 7, 2015:       MSU-Mankato vs. Alaska Anchorage
  • February 27 & 28, 2015:  MSU-Mankato vs. Michigan Tech
  • March 13 & 14, 2015:        MSU-Mankato vs. TBA – WCHA Playoffs

“We are very pleased to bring Mavericks hockey to fans throughout the Twin Cities area,” said Jeff Freyer, Regional Vice President, Comcast – Twin Cities Region. “The passion for hockey in Minnesota is unmatched anywhere in the nation, and we are proud to be part of that excitement.”

Bethany Lutheran College students will produce the telecasts. Don Westphal and Dan McCargar will provide the play-by-play and color commentary. The televised games are made possible through a partnership between Comcast, Charter Communications and MSU-Mankato. The match-ups will be telecast on Xfinity Events Channel 999 and available in high-definition.

About Comcast Cable:
Comcast Cable is the nation’s largest video, high-speed Internet and phone provider to residential customers under the XFINITY brand and also provides these services to businesses. Comcast has invested in technology to build an advanced network that delivers among the fastest broadband speeds, and brings customers personalized video, communications and home management offerings. Comcast Corporation (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) is a global media and technology company. Visit www.comcastcorporation.com for more information.

Comcast Celebrates LGBT Pride Month With Redesigned Web Portal And Free HERE TV Content

Xfinity.com/LGBT Features TV shows, Movies, News and “Guest” Content Curation from GLAAD;
HERE TV Promotion Includes Week-Long Freeview of Award-Winning LGBT Programming

Philadelphia, PA – June 2, 2014 — In celebration of LGBT Pride Month, Comcast today announced the redesign of its Xfinity.com/LGBT portal which features a curated collection of TV and movie selections as well as original entertainment, news and behind the scenes interviews. The company will also provide its Xfinity TV subscribers free access to HERE TV (www.heretv.com) via Xfinity On Demand from June 10 – 16.

“Comcast is proud to offer a variety of destinations, programming and experiences uniquely designed for the LGBT community,” said Marcien Jenckes, Executive Vice President, Consumer Services, Comcast Cable. “The new site will give our Xfinity TV customers even more access to the best entertainment choices with more ways to watch LGBT content year-round across devices.”

LGBT micrositeThe sophisticated new Xfinity.com/LGBT curates the best online video content from Comcast’s programming partners and provides Xfinity TV subscribers with full episodes and clips of their favorite TV shows, box office hits, relevant news headlines, community resources, and viewing recommendations for a wide variety of LGBT films, television shows, documentaries and more. Through the site, Xfinity TV subscribers can stream the best LGBT movies or television series directly to their computers or mobile devices using the “Watch Now” feature. Non-Xfinity subscribers can also enjoy access to original entertainment news stories, in-depth features, event coverage and celebrity interviews highlighting topics of importance to the LGBT community.

Key Xfinity.com/LGBT highlights to look for throughout the month of June include:

  • Comprehensive weekly “LGBT What to Watch Guide” packed information about the latest shows and films featuring LGBT characters.
  • Newly curated TV collections including LGBT Teen and film collections like Groundbreakers showcasing iconic LGBT films.
  • GLAAD National Spokesperson, Wilson Cruz takes a turn as a celebrity guest curator.
  • Behind the scenes set visits and cast interviews with ABC Family’s The Fosters and USA’s White Collar.
  • New Xfinity On Demand TV shows to watch across platforms like B.O.R.N. To Style from A+E’s FYI network.
  • Special collection spotlighting HBO’s acclaimed film, The Normal Heart featuring a host of original interviews and video clips.

For the second year in a row, Xfinity TV has partnered with HERE TV to offer a week-long freeview of the network’s award-winning LGBT programming. Original HERE TV series and specials including: Emmy-nominated A World of Dreams: Voice from the OUT100, original sitcom From Here on OUT, and fan favorites Dante’s Cove and The Lair will be available at no charge for Xfinity TV subscribers nationwide and accessible via the Xfinity On Demand menu.

HERE TV appears in 96 of the top 100 U.S. markets, including every top 10 market.

Comcast has had a longstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion since its founding more than 50 years ago and focuses its efforts in five key areas: diversity in governance, attracting and retaining a multicultural workforce, developing a diverse supplier base, offering a wide selection of multicultural programming, and community investment in national, regional and local diverse organizations. In 2013 and 2014, it was given a perfect score by the Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index and named a “Best Place to Work” for the LGBT community.

About Comcast Cable
Comcast Cable is the nation’s largest video, high-speed Internet and phone provider to residential customers under the XFINITY brand and also provides these services to businesses. Comcast has invested in technology to build an advanced network that delivers among the fastest broadband speeds, and brings customers personalized video, communications and home management offerings. Comcast Corporation (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) is a global media and technology company. Visit www.comcastcorporation.com for more information.