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Cable Technology Feature Article

May 23, 2012

Major U.S. Cable Companies Create CableWiFi Network Giving Customers Access to over 50,000 Hotspots

By Rajani Baburajan, TMCnet Contributor

As part of a joint initiative, major U.S. cable companies including Bright House Networks, Cablevision, Comcast, Cox Communications and Time Warner (News - Alert) Cable, are allowing each other’s high-speed Internet customers access their metro Wi-Fi networks, which totals over 50,000 hotspots.

Dubbed as “CableWiFi” the new network allows subscribers to access Wi-Fi hotspots from any of these providers outside their home market. 

As the first step of this joint initiative, Bright House Networks and Cablevision launched “CableWiFi” alongside their branded Wi-Fi networks in the New York City area and central Florida, earlier this month. Over the next few months, the “CableWiFi” network name will be added by each of the cable companies to their branded Wi-Fi hotspots. 

“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, Bright House Networks, in a statement.

High-speed Internet subscribers of the participating companies can get the service from the “CableWiFi” network at over 50,000 hotspots located in New York City and the surrounding Tri-State area, Los Angeles, Tampa, Orlando, and Philadelphia. Through a simple sign-on process, they can connect using the same credentials as when accessing their providers’ Wi-Fi networks. 

In the coming months, users will be able to have their devices auto-connect to the Internet when located in any of the “Cable WiFi” hotspots, the companies said in a joint press release. "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 James L. Dolan, Cablevision’s president and CEO, in a statement.

"We've built an extensive Wi-Fi 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," Dolan added.

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

Edited by Brooke Neuman

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