Comcast has apparently decided it’s as tired of its own corporate identity as many of its customers: the company has announced that it will be rebranding its Internet, cable TV, and phone services under a new “Xfinity” label starting next week in almost a dozen major markets. Eventually, the name change will be effective nationwide.
“Xfinity represents the future of our company and it’s a promise to customers that we’ll keep innovating,” wrote Comcast executive VP of operations David Watson, in the company blog. “Simply put, Xfinity is about offering our customers more — more HD, more speed, more choice and more control over their services.”
Under the new branding, the corporate name will remain Comcast, but services will be rebranded as Xfinity TV, Xfinity Voice, and Xfinity Internet. The rebranding will launch next week in 11 markets—Boston, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Washington D.C., Chicago, Portland, Seattle, Hartford, Augusta, Chattanooga, parts of the Bay Area and San Francisco—and go nationwide throughout 2010.
Comcast is one of the U.S.’s largest communications and media providers, with more than 15 million high speed Internet customers, 25 million cable TV subscribers, and almost 6.5 million voice users. The company has been at the center of controversies regarding network neutrality when it was revealed to be forging packets to shut down selected P2P networking applications in the name of “network management.” Comcast was sanctioned by the FCC for its actions, but it currently appealing the ruling.
Comcast recently purchased a controlling stake in the NBC broadcast television network in a proposed deal worth some $13.75 billion. The acquisition puts Comcast in the position of being both a content producer—through NBC and its subsidiaries—as well as a media distributor…a situation which didn’t work out so well for Time Warner in recent years, as the company has shifted to a media-only focus and spun off its cable television business (and later, AOL).