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Cable Companies Launching Network for Wi-Fi Roaming

Five major North American cable companies have agreed to establish a metro Wi-Fi network of over 50,000 hotspots nationwide. This will allow subscribers to access the Internet outside their home broadband market without having to jump on 3G and 4G wireless networks.

"This effort adds great value to our high speed Internet customers by providing free wireless Internet access on all of their Wi-Fi enabled devices in our markets and additional areas across the country," said Nomi Bergman, President of Bright House Networks.

Joining Bright House is Cablevision, Comcast, Cox Communications and Time Warner Cable. To simplify access, a new network name, "CableWiFi," has been created for subscribers to use when accessing the Wi-Fi hotspots. The first implementation has already been established in the New York City area and central Florida, launched earlier this month.

Starting Monday, the "CableWiFi" network name will be added by each of the cable companies to their branded Wi-Fi hotspots over the next few months. Users will simply use the same credentials they supply to their providers’ Wi-Fi networks when accessing a "CableWiFi" hotspot outside their home market. Soon devices will be able to auto-connect to the Internet when located in any of the "Cable WiFi" hotspots.

But don't be fooled by the "nationwide" coverage: the network of over 50,000 indoor and outdoor hotspots is extremely limited for now, confined to New York City and the surrounding Tri-State area, Los Angeles, Tampa, Orlando, and Philadelphia. However the five companies plan to continue to grow the number of Wi-Fi hotspots and expand into several additional cities.

"We have long been the leading providers of high-speed internet services in our customers’ homes. Through our rollout of WiFi and the benefits of this collaboration we greatly increase the value and reach of our high-speed internet service, providing access to broadband outside the home and in cities across the country," said Rob Marcus, President and COO of Time Warner Cable.

To find a CableWiFi hotspot near you, head here.