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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.

  • blazorthon
    Isn't this basically what Optimum WiFi does?
    Reply
  • fb39ca4
    Does it count towards data caps?
    Reply
  • face-plants
    fb39ca4Does it count towards data caps?Great point. I have Comcast and have used their free wifi around town many times when in a bind on several occasions. I haven't done anything more than look up directions or phone numbers until now. With the coverage area increasing, I'm sure I'll be using the service much more often instead of getting gouged by my wireless carrier. If the usage does count towards data caps, it will be a lot harder to keep track. If it doesn't, I may have a backup plan when I get close to the data cap. Especially since I can reach one of the WiFi spots from my back porch.

    BTW, this service has been available for about a year and I live 2 hours away from Philly at the southern most point of New Jersey so this service isn't totally limited to urban areas.
    Reply
  • eklipz330
    google needs to really rescue this country. lift caps, cheaper and faster internet. i bet if google can set up their entire network and offer very reasonable prices, no one will ever look at any other ISP ever again. they can seriously create a monopoly if they chose too
    Reply
  • blazorthon
    eklipz330google needs to really rescue this country. lift caps, cheaper and faster internet. i bet if google can set up their entire network and offer very reasonable prices, no one will ever look at any other ISP ever again. they can seriously create a monopoly if they chose too
    Are you seriously asking for Google, one of the most privacy invading companies known, to become a monopoly in the USA ISP business? Monopolies are usually bad... Without competition, Google would have less reason to act competitive.
    Reply
  • jdog2pt0
    I miss Bright House D:

    I had them with a 20mbit connection when I lived in Florida. Now I live in Utah, have no Comcast so I'm stuck with shitty ass Century Link DSL. God I hate DSL :/ (Complaining about the connection, Century Link seems like they're okay).
    Reply
  • caparc
    Access to the internet is becoming so important to the viability of communities I'm surprised there aren't municiple services similer to water and sewer. Too bad the white space frequencies went by the wayside. Why did I think that was too good to be true?
    Reply
  • TeraMedia
    Collude much?The only thing that worries me about this is that it further concentrates the provision of internet access towards the cable providers. They already have most of us stuck without viable alternatives (FiOS, 3G and 4G are not widely deployed, and DSL, well... just ask jdog2pt0). With this move they are further entrenching themselves to be indispensable and irreplaceable. I love the idea of being able to use WiFi for free in large cities as part of my service provier's offerings. I just wish I had the ability to choose the service provider in the first place.
    Reply
  • bak0n
    Time to put wifi hotspots on telephone poles.
    Reply
  • classzero
    blazorthonAre you seriously asking for Google, one of the most privacy invading companies known, to become a monopoly in the USA ISP business? Monopolies are usually bad... Without competition, Google would have less reason to act competitive.
    Current competition (monopolies) are not working. We are not leaders in broadband. ISP's refuse to update their infrastructure. Instead they throw data caps and other money milking techniques to keep us down. What we need is a ISP Spring here in america.
    Reply