Cablevision ponders offering travel services to customers
Cablevision is in discussions with a company in regard to offering an interactive travel service to its subscribers.
A story today by Bloomberg said the service would allow Cablevision customers to book trips through their TV sets and would compete against online booking entities such as Expedia.
John Pasmore, president of Voyages North America Inc., which is a provider of video-on-demand travel content, said in the Bloomberg story that his company was in negotiations with Cablevision.
If the discussions pan out, Cablevision would be the first cable operator in the nation to offer travel services – such as booking flights, hotels and tours – to its subscribers.
In other Cablevision news, the company’s Wi-Fi service is taking a stroll down the New Jersey Shore area, along with commercial deployments in Morris, Ocean and Monmouth Counties.
The New Jersey locations were the latest deployments in Cablevision’s two-year Wi-Fi rollout, which is called Optimum WiFi. The Wi-Fi initiative, which has an estimated cost of $300 million, has previously been deployed across the company’s Long Island, Westchester and Dutchess service areas.
Cablevision also announced that it had completed a recently announced Optimum WiFi speed increase, doubling the service’s downstream speed to up to 3 Mbps, which is more than twice as fast as competing data plans offered by cell phone providers over 3G networks.
“We are pleased to announce this considerable expansion of our Optimum WiFi coverage in New Jersey, including access at popular Shore Points, as our market-wide deployment continues,” said Kevin Curran, Cablevision’s senior vice president of wireless product development. “Optimum WiFi is free to Optimum Online customers, faster than expensive cell phone data plans, and being discovered by thousands of new users every week, who are taking their home or office broadband connections ‘on the go’ to the places where they are most likely to appreciate and enjoy the convenience of reliable wireless Internet access.”
Cablevision, the nation’s fifth-largest cable operator, said its data customers have already used the Wi-Fi service more than 1 million times.
Earlier in the week, Bloomberg reported that Cablevision was attempting to extend the maturity of a $3.4 billion term loan due in 2013.