Comcast to unite forces in Chattanooga

photo The Comcast logo is displayed on a TV set.

Comcast has chosen Chattanooga as the site of the company's consolidated regional operations center, which will manage the cable giant's installation and technical services for the Southeast region.

The move will add 150 jobs at Comcast's Polymer Drive office by the end of the year, said Jim Weigert, vice president and general manager of Comcast Chattanooga.

About one-third of the positions are already filled.

"Chattanooga is often at the top, not only in our division but across the country in terms of performance," Weigert said. "Our strength and record of success made it a contributing factor when they selected a location."

In addition to combining many smaller operations into one big one, Comcast also is amping up the technology used to route cable technicians from one job to the next.

Chattanooga has long served as a testing ground for new Comcast products, and area residents often receive faster Web connections and extra services at no cost.

Chattanooga is also a competitive market for Comcast. Here, the nation's largest cable company faces competition from AT&T's U-Verse service as well as EPB Fiber Optics service, which has made national headlines for its gigabit speeds.

"While you're making a change, you can upgrade your approach," Weigert said.

Employees in other markets whose dispatch jobs were moved to Chattanooga were given a chance to relocate to work at the renamed CommOps division, he said.

"This is a new team, and it's functioning in a new way," Weigert said.

Many of the new positions will be entry-level, requiring computer skills and the ability to communicate with customers and technical employees. Several are management and technical positions as well, said Elaine Tapp, Comcast regional senior director of CommOps.

Once the team is assembled, Tapp hopes to use technology to tighten Comcast's two-hour window for customer visits, according to a news release.

"We are committed to making the right investments in people, advanced technologies and new processes to ensure customers receive the best possible experience each and every time they call Comcast," Tapp said.