Cable Industry Provides Cross-Carrier Wi-Fi
'CableWi-Fi' Initiative Involves 50,000 Hotspots
by Karl Bode 01:57PM Monday May 21 2012 Tipped by AndyDufresne
Bright House Networks, Cablevision, Comcast, Cox Communications, and Time Warner Cable this week announced they'll be partnering further on offering Wi-Fi for free to the companies' subscribers, allowing users of any of the cable operators the ability to access hotspots owned by any other participating ISP. According to the combined company press statement
, the initiative will be called "CableWifi" (that will also be the SSID) and involve over 50,000 hotspots that users can access with credentials from any participating cable ISP.
Over the last few years, Cablevision has taken the lead over the last few years when it comes to offering subscribers free Wi-Fi as an added perk, an initiative Comcast and Time Warner Cable grew more involved in starting in 2010 -- in some instances actually sharing physical infrastructure.
"We believe that WiFi is a superior approach to mobile data, and that cable providers are best positioned to build the highest-capacity national network offering customers fast and reliable Internet connections when away from their home or business broadband service," said Kristin Dolan, Cablevision’s senior executive vice president of product management and marketing. "We've built an extensive WiFi network in our own service area, and see real value and potential in other leading providers joining with us to extend that connectivity to major markets across the country."
Numerous cable companies claim they had originally planned to build their own cellular networks to offer wireless service, but all of them found that competing in wireless (particularly thanks to the Verizon/AT&T duopoly) was a steeper climb than they had anticipated. Most of the companies have since offloaded their acquired spectrum to Verizon Wireless -- and recently announced a cross-marketing dea
l that involves them bundling Verizon Wireless services.
New York, NY
Re: The one thing I've missed since switching to FiOS ....
said by axus:Cell phones still have better coverage and can be used well in a moving vehicle. The Wifi is great if you're sitting stationary somewhere.
Looks like Michael Powell wasn't completely wrong That's a pretty nice perk, what are the drawbacks of WiFi compared to a cell phone data plan?
Re: Cable Industry Provides Cross-Carrier Wi-Fi There are hardware, software, and communication ways to deal with squatters. Yes, you can connect here. No, we do not have any power outlets in the customer area that work. The manager at one coffeehouse disconnected the electrical outlets for one of the most popular areas of seating in the establishment. It was near the order pick up area. The squatters needed electricity, but they would have to go away from the self-serve coffee and drink refill areas to get it. Some days there is no power at any outlets in the customer seating area. Squatters like reliable sources of electricity and she is not going to give it to them. I have read about sophisticated electrical control systems that can be programmed to stop or start the flow of electricity to outlets based on a schedule the
owner can set up. No outlet electricity during busy times when table turn over needs to be as fast as possible. Electrical power available during slack times.
I think one of the reasons the cable industry is doing this is the ridiculous AT&T and Verizon positions that businesses that are provisioned with a typical 3.0Mbps DSL circuit are really offering a great WiFi experience for a business's many customers. AT&T and Verizon have got some minor positive PR for their WiFi programs. The cable companies want some of that also, and know that if they do it correctly, they can probably get even more positive public relations out of WiFi sponsorship. Think about an 8 bonded channel down, 4 bonded channel up, DOCSIS 3.0 connection compared to a 3.0Mbps down, 0.375Mbps up DSL connection for a 100 seat coffee house. All else being equal, which is going to deliver a better WiFi experience?
Could they charge for it? Yes. But here's something I think they are looking at. It is a big giant advertising campaign for the cable industry, with the local cable company's logo displayed somehow alongside the national WiFi HotSpot logo. Most likely it is less expensive than other ways of trying to make a despised industry look good. They also want to try to get more people who do not subscribe to cable broadband, in areas with existing cable plant, to sign up. If you can support a bunch of 100 seat coffee and sandwich shops, certainly you must be able to provide good service to my home.
Santa Monica, CA
·Time Warner Cable
Re: never worked
said by davidhoffman:No, I'm not confusing anything, but I can see how you might.
You are confusing a Santa Monica municipal WiFi project, paid for by municipal tax revenue, with a private consortium's efforts to coordinate access to some private APs used by private businesses that have cable company supplied broadband.
Its true that Santa Monica has spent untold millions developing both a WiFi and two generations of fiber ring, both of which are inaccessible to residents and most businesses.
But I was referring to Time Warner's WiFi network.