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Cablevision’s Wi-Fi network an industry beacon

Mon, 05/21/2012 - 11:50am
Mike Robuck

Cablevision's Optimum WiFi coverage mapWhile Cablevision has been in the news lately for the steady stream of executives that have left the company, its decision to build a Wi-Fi network in 2008 has turned out to be visionary.

Today, Cablevision, Time Warner Cable, Cox Communications, Comcast and Bright House Networks announced that their subscribers would be able to share more than 50,000 hotspots in each of the cable operators’ footprints. When it comes to Wi-Fi, other cable operator executives have acknowledged Cablevision as a leader.

The success of Cablevision’s Wi-Fi network, which reportedly cost $300 million to build in the early going, can be counted in numbers:

  • Cablevision expects to rack up more than 350 million total user sessions this year after counting 187 million last year and 50 million two years ago. Approximately 250,000 Cablevision customers use Optimum WiFi every day.
  • More than 1.3 million consumer devices authenticated for automatic sign-on when in range of the network, with smartphones accounting for more than 50 percent of those devices.
  • Cablevision now has more than 35,000 indoor and outdoor hotspots.
  • Cablevision said more than 30 percent of its high-speed Internet customers have used Optimum WiFi.

Cable operator executives have said that Wi-Fi is now a key component of their broadband arsenals as data subscribers increase almost every quarter. Aside from keeping customers happy by providing a useful service, at some point, the cable operators will start earning incremental revenues through features and services such as advertising and mobile backhaul.

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