Cable Giants Announce 50,000 Wi-Fi Hotspots In Response To 3G

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Some Orlando cable subscribers are going to be enjoying more Wi-Fi hotspots around town.

Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Cablevision, Cox Communications, and Bright House Networks are working together to launch over 50,000 public Wi-Fi hotspots for their cable internet subscribers. While subscribers are currently still stuck to their current provider, the companies are working on technology that will recognize and log in customers from partner companies.

According to CNNMoney: “The cable providers’ partnership is similar to how cell phone carriers allow their customers to roam on other networks when traveling. That’s intentional: The cable companies say they are looking to compete with mobile carriers’ new 4G networks that make broadband-like speeds available everywhere.”

What this means for Orlando residents is that not only are they going to have access to Bright House Networks’ 2,000 local Wi-Fi hotspots, but they will also have access to hotspots in Tampa, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, and the greater New York City area. Customers will be able to log into any “CableWiFi”-branded hotspot with the login and password that they use for their cable service.

Bright House WiFi source:

A map of the current Bright House Wi-Fi hotspots in central Florida.

This is a great option for internet power users who regularly max out their 3G and 4G usage. Cellular providers are now putting caps on the amount of data their customers can use, either throttling back speed or charging more for data. As a frustrated cell phone data user, I would be open to using this Wi-Fi service. Wireless carriers are countering the move with their own Wi-Fi hotspots, and the battle over Wi-Fi dominance might come down to whichever provider offers their product the fastest.

While I’m happy to see that Orlando is one of the flagship cities of this venture, unfortunately I live too far outside of the city limits to have Bright House Networks’ cable internet. It’s a shame, especially since I’m regularly frustrated by tethering my laptop to my phone for 3G internet when I’m on the go, and I also travel to New York City about once a year. I would take full advantage of this opportunity if it were available to me. While non-Bright House subscribers can pay for wireless access, I will probably continue to use the 3G network that I’m already paying for.

My biggest hope is that Bright House Networks will continue expanding its current cable internet coverage so more subscribers will be able to take advantage of this terrific deal.

For more information, visit the Orlando Sentinel.

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