Joint collaboration good news for New Jersey commuters...
Last month we were the first to report
that Comcast was working with Cablevision on Wi-Fi deployment in New Jersey, the collaboration a new trial for Comcast, while an extension of Cablevision's existing NYC metro area Wi-Fi footprint
. Comcast users in the region inform us they're now getting an e-mail saying the service is live
. Users in New Jersey simply have to sign on with their Comcast.net username and password. Comcast has also launched a new Wi-Fi website
and this list of served train stations
Meanwhile, Cablevision contacted us this morning to note that the first wave of their New Jersey Wi-Fi expansion is also now live for commuters. According to Cablevision, the expanded coverage focuses largely on the New Jersey rail line, initially covering Cablevision and non-Cablevision markets in Bergen and Passaic counties, with looming expansion in Essex, Morris, Middlesex, Monmouth and Somerset counties. Cablevision is spending $300 million to upgrade to DOCSIS 3.0 and deploy Wi-Fi as a competitive weapon against Verizon FiOS.
Keep in mind that while the two companies worked together on deployment and may even share some network gear mounts, these are two different services. Still, while the networks are distinct, "the key benefit of the companies cooperating on the train stations is that our customers can access our WiFi service at stations in Comcast's service area and vice-versa," Cablevision spokesman Jim Maiella tells me.
Comcast's hotspots are not available to the general public yet, given this is a trial and Comcast has not yet hashed out marketing specifics. Both services offers symmetrical speeds of 1.5Mbps.
"Wi-Fi is nothing new to most MSOs," Mary Nell Westbrook recently told us. "Many have similar services or trials and frankly it's not new to Comcast," she notes, adding that they've had it in a number of markets already -- including some they acquired from Time Warner Cable. Comcast has offered Wi-Fi at the Houston Astros Minute Maid Park; select retirement communities in Florida; certain parts of San Jose; and certain hospitality venues and pilots at the University of Miami. The company is also of course working with Clearwire to offer mobile WiMax.