Comcast is partnering with the city of Modesto, Calif., to expand Internet infrastructure for businesses in the central and downtown areas.

The project, which will invest $15 million to enhance Internet connectivity for local businesses, is set to be completed by March. With the expansion, an estimated 2,000 local businesses will get access to Ethernet speeds at up to 10Gb/sec, and a variety of plans that can meet the “day-to-day demands of organizations requiring large amounts of bandwidth, looking to link multiple sites or branch locations or planning to connect their offices to a third-party data center.”

“The Modesto area is one of the fastest-growing markets here in California and we are excited to bring our state-of-the-art products and services to more businesses in the area,” said Kristeen Cominiello, the vice president of Comcast Business in California.

Conversations between Comcast and the city have been ongoing for over a year, Cominiello said, and the plan for the expansion was solidified earlier this year. The announcement came Wednesday.

Mayor Ted Brandvold said broadband has become an even more critical tool for business success, especially with the COVID-19 pandemic’s effect on the economy. Brandvold said initiatives such as this one are “crucial” to supporting businesses and ensuring a high quality of life in Modesto.

“We appreciate local partnerships, such as this one with Comcast,” he said, “and we’re looking to ensure Modesto businesses have access to these breakthrough technologies that are fueling their growth and attracting new businesses to the city of Modesto.”

Trish Christensen, president and CEO of the Modesto Chamber of Commerce, said the partnership with Comcast “could not have come at a more appropriate time.”

“Comcast’s technology investment in Stanislaus County will strengthen the business community and create new opportunities by supporting workforce development and quality of life,” said Christensen. “This could not have come at a more appropriate time.”

Christensen said those interested in learning more about the partnership can sign up for a virtual panel discussion, to be held Oct. 23. Registration is free and accessible on the Comcast Business website.

The new Ethernet plans will be available to new and existing Comcast customers starting in 2021.

©2020 The Modesto Bee. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.