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Cable Technology Feature Article

May 21, 2012

Cable Giants Link Wi-Fi Networks, Create 50k Hotspots

By Shawn Hebert, TMCnet Contributing Writer

Some of the nation's largest cable companies are teaming up to bring each other's customers unified Wi-Fi hotspots.

Customers of Bright House Networks, Cablevision, Comcast, Cox (News - Alert) Communications and Time Warner Cable can now enjoy nearly 50,000 hotspots when roaming outside their own cable territory. To simplify access, the cable giants are calling the new network “CableWiFi.”

High-speed Internet subscribers of those companies can look for the “CableWiFi” network on their portable devices, where they will be asked to sign-on using the same credentials as when accessing their providers’ Wi-Fi networks.

Subscribers will be able to find the nearest wireless hotspots by visiting the homepage of their current cable provider, or by going to the newly created cablewifi.com Website and scouting for locations.

This morning's announcement expands upon a 2010 agreement among Comcast, Cablevision and Time Warner (News - Alert) Cable, in which the three providers offered to share their hotspots throughout the tri-state area – New Jersey, New York and Connecticut. 

This is the largest and most inclusive Wi-Fi sharing effort among cable operators to date. The operators plan to continue to grow the number of hotspots and expand into several additional cities. 

Kristin Dolan, Cablevision’s senior executive vice president of product management and marketing, believes there's plenty of value and potential in joining other providers in extending connectivity across the country.

"We believe that Wi-Fi 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 Dolan.

In the coming months, users will be able to have their devices auto-connect to the Internet when located in any of the “Cable Wi-Fi” hotspots.

The companies made the announcement earlier today to kick off The Cable Show 2012 in Boston, Massachusetts.

Edited by Braden Becker

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