Roughly one year after five of the top-six cable operators in the nation announced that they had formed a pact to share each other’s Wi-Fi hotspots, the Cable WiFi Alliance has topped 150,000 access points across the nation.
All told, the 150,000 hotspots represent the largest Wi-Fi network in the nation.
Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Cox Communications, Cablevision, and Bright House Networks first announced the roaming agreement at last year’s Cable Show in Boston. At that time, the alliance had 50,000 hotspots under its belt, and earlier this year the NCTA said there were 100,000 live access points.
Out of the 150,000 hotspots announced today, Cablevision, an early pioneer of Wi-Fi in the cable industry, has 80,000.
"At Cablevision, we see firsthand how much usage and convenience Wi-Fi delivers to our customers, which is why we have long been a proponent of this value-added benefit. When we partner with other cable operators in this expansion of Cable WiFi, it gives our Optimum Online customers even greater access to wireless Internet service," said Gemma Toner, Cablevision’s senior vice president of broadband product management.
When traveling outside their home markets, high-speed Internet subscribers of the participating companies can look for the "CableWiFi" network service set identifier (SSID). Through a simple sign-on process, they can connect to a WiFi access point using the same credentials they use to join their own providers’ Wi-Fi network.
Once they authenticate their device, for added convenience users will be able to have their devices auto-connect to a "CableWiFi" hotspot when they are in range.
The access points are available across a range of major metropolitan areas across in the United States including: New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Baltimore, Boston, Washington, D.C., San Francisco, Orlando, Tampa, Kansas City and more.
The 150,000 hotspots are separate from the 100,000 that Comcast has enabled through its neighborhood hotspot initiative.
“Wi-Fi is a key component of our efforts to deliver Xfinity Internet customers the fastest and most reliable Internet connection, both inside and outside of the home,” said Tom Nagel, senior vice president of business development, Comcast Cable. “With the ubiquity of wireless technology in consumer devices, our customers have the benefit of being able to access the largest Wi-Fi network in the U.S. to connect them to family, friends and the information they need."
"We recognize that an Internet connection wherever you are is a hugely important feature so we’ll continue to bring more Wi-Fi to the places where our customers live, work and play. It’s like taking your home Internet service with you," said Mike Roudi, senior vice president of corporate development for Time Warner Cable. "We are very encouraged by the growing usage of our WiFi networks and the continued expansion of the Cable WiFi network."
"Cox recognizes that consumers’ lives are greatly enhanced through broadband service," said Kelly Williams, vice president of product strategy and management at Cox Communications. "With the growing number of mobile devices, customers want access to reliable high-speed Internet at home and on the go. Cox is proud to partner with other providers to bring CableWiFi as it provides an even greater value to high-speed Internet customers over the next few months. Through these Wi-Fi networks, our customers will benefit from having access to Wi-Fi that is complementary to their cellular plans and experience."
"Our customers will enjoy expanded access to Wi-Fi connectivity while on-the-go through this rapidly growing network of Cable WiFi access points located throughout the U.S.," said Leo Cloutier, senior vice president, corporate strategy and business development, Bright House Networks.