Comcast says its new fiber optic network will be the best in the world

Comcast said Thursday that it has signed a $1.8 billion deal with China’s Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.

to build its first fiber optic backbone in China.

The deal was announced by the cable giant in a news release and was expected to close within the next two months.

The $1 billion investment will help Comcast to offer its services to the fastest-growing Internet market in the U.S., Alibaba said.

The fiber optic infrastructure is expected to be up and running by the end of 2018.

Comcast says it is targeting “100 percent” of its customers in China by then.