comcast, internet, students, safety

Comcast: Reimagining Business in Chicago’s South Side

Network investment in fiber and advanced technologies continues to buoy economic growth for nearly 300 local businesses.

Originally Published by Comcast NBCUniversal.

Three years ago, Comcast Business added more than five miles of fiber optic network to Chicago’s Back of the Yards and Bridgeport neighborhoods. The network delivers internet speeds of up to 10 Gbps – and up to 100 Gbps on a case-by-case basis – to nearly 300 small- and medium-sized businesses in the industrial and business area from South Halsted Street west to South Ashland Avenue and from 31st Street south to 47th Street.  Access to such fast and reliable connectivity has become a boon to local businesses and helped spur local job and economic growth.

In addition to fiber, the proactive infrastructure investment enables local businesses to leverage Comcast Business’ wide array of advanced services, including Ethernet, Internet, Advanced Voice and value-added cloud services, to optimize operations that increasingly require high-speed, high-capacity networks. Other Comcast solutions that these companies can engage to enhance their business includes Connection Pro, which protects valuable data by automatically backing up a customer’s network in case of outages; WiFi Pro,  a mobile-friendly tool that allows businesses to manage customer- and internal-facing networks; and Smart Office, which gives business owners round-the-clock views of their property through cloud-based video monitoring for increased security.

“We originally invested in Back of The Yards and Bridgeport in response to growing demand for our business technology, as well as to help stimulate economic growth in the local emerging business corridor,” said Jay Dirkmaat, regional vice president of Comcast Business. “Those goals still resonate today: By increasing bandwidth and speed, the addition of our advanced network has given the two neighborhoods access to applications, cloud services and the technology infrastructure necessary for local businesses to survive and compete.”

What’s more, the investment aligns with efforts many local communities are making to expand their telecommunications and information technology infrastructure to gain a competitive edge. For Craig Chico, president and CEO of the Back of the Yards Neighborhood Council, Comcast’s fiber buildout has been a gamechanger in his ability to attract and retain businesses to the area.

By increasing bandwidth and speed, the addition of our advanced network has given the two neighborhoods access to applications, cloud services and the technology infrastructure necessary for local businesses to survive and compete.
Regional Vice President, Comcast Business

“When we market our community to prospective businesses, one of the first questions they ask is, ‘can I get fiber?’” said Chico. “Fiber access is a powerful differentiator and business magnet for us, since fast and reliable broadband is so critical to business success. It gives our local businesses a technology capability boost, which helps them expand and compete.”

Helping South Side Businesses Reimagine the Way They Serve Their Customers

One such business partnering with Comcast Business to innovate its approach is Morgan Services, a 130-year old textile rental company that specializes in linen and uniform rentals and industrial laundry services. With headquarters in downtown Chicago and facilities nationwide, Morgan Services leverages Comcast Business technology to reinvent how it runs its Back of the Yards material processing facility – the most automated and technically advanced of its nine processing facilities across the country. While laundry services may seem simple enough, Morgan Services’ far-reaching operations require intricate, real-time data to ensure orders are processed correctly and on time.

“Since using Comcast’s advanced network, our internet speeds have doubled, and our broadband now has the capacity to run a host of operational and logistical functions that help us work more efficiently,” said Brian Berg, director of IT at Morgan Services. “From coordinating orders with our mobile workforce to tracking linen and uniform shipments through RFID chips, Comcast has been an essential partner every step of the way in ensuring our technology is up to the task.”

Another Back of The Yards company utilizing Comcast’s advanced technologies is La Guadalupana, a Hispanic food manufacturer and distributor with another location in Brighton Park, another Chicago neighborhood. Before working with Comcast, tracking orders of its renowned masa and tamales was challenging for the company – its sales people are constantly on the move, and filling orders from the field was difficult. Once La Guadalupana tapped Comcast’s Advanced Voice service, however, that changed.

Latest News

economics workforce

Economics Field Is ‘Too White’ and ‘Too Male’ According to Top Federal Reserve Policymakers

Top Federal Reserve officials from a dozen regional banks met on April 13 to discuss the racial-disparity problem within the world of economics. According to Christopher Rugaber of The Associated Press, “top Federal Reserve policymakers on Tuesday underscored their concern that Black and Hispanic people are sharply underrepresented in the…


NCAA Declares Full Support of Transgender Athletes; Pledges Its Events Will Be ‘Free of Discrimination’

In a blow to a growing number of states considering harsh and discriminatory bans on transgender rights, the National Collegiate Athletic Association has publicly come out in support of diversity and inclusion — backing transgender rights and saying that it will no longer hold championship events in locations that aren’t…

Black homeownership grows

Home Ownership Among Black Americans Increased Significantly in 2020 — But Rates Still Lag Dramatically Behind Whites

While the COVID-19 pandemic struck all Americans, Black men and women took the biggest hit, suffering greater levels of unemployment, poverty, food insecurity and even death from the virus than other races. But while all this was happening, something interesting and unexpected took place as well — homeownership for Blacks,…

Will Smith

Will Smith and Apple Pull Upcoming Film Out of Georgia In Protest of Racist Voter Suppression Law

The fallout from Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp’s decision to sign the most racist and restrictive voter suppression bill in the U.S. continues. First, Major League Baseball moved its upcoming All-Star game from Atlanta to Denver. Then, corporations ranging from Delta to Coca-Cola blasted the state and declared the bill as…

Caron Nazario

Virginia Police Pull-Over, Threaten and Pull Gun on Black Army Lieutenant Because They ‘Missed’ New Purchase Paperwork on Truck He Was Driving

In the latest of a seemingly never-ending stream of cases involving police racism and organizational misbehavior, two police officers in Virginia have been accused of threatening a Black Army lieutenant — and pulling a gun on him — during a routine traffic stop involving vehicle identification. David K. Li of…

Georgia voter suppression protests

More Than 100 Corporate CEOs Discuss Ways to Fight Against Georgia Voter Suppression Law

On Saturday, April 10, the CEOs from dozens of the country’s leading corporations came together on Zoom to talk about ways Corporate America can aid in the fight against a number of controversial and racist voter suppression laws that are currently in discussion across the U.S., including the new law…

Sign up to receive Diversity Management News and Updates

You have Successfully Subscribed!