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Comcast lights up Wi-Fi hotspots on Boston commuter platforms

Wed, 07/02/2014 - 1:12pm
Mike Robuck

Comcast has activated Wi-Fi hotspots on portions of a subway line in Boston.

The cable operator’s Xfinity Wi-Fi service is now available to Comcast data subscribers on the MBTA's Green Line from North Station to Kenmore.

With the new access points, Comcast laid claim to being the first provider to offer Wi-Fi in parts of the first subway line to open in the United States. At the start of the year, Cablevision announced its Optimum WiFi service was up and running at 11 NJ Transit stations. 

"America's oldest subway has now become one of the very first to offer customers high speed Internet access on century-old train platforms," said MBTA General Manager Beverly Scott. "With the introduction of Wi-Fi service at Green Line stations, hundreds of thousands of T riders can stay connected preparing for their daily commutes."

Xfinity WiFi is available in the following MBTA Green Line station platforms: North Station, Haymarket, Park Street, Boylston, Arlington, Copley, Prudential, Symphony, Hynes Convention Center and Kenmore, as well as dozens of other outdoor station platforms on the B, C, D and E branches of the Green Line. 

"Comcast customers demand high-speed access to stay in touch and enjoy entertainment on the go," said Steve Hackley, senior vice president of Comcast's Greater Boston Region. "We're proud to extend the nation's largest and fastest Wi-Fi network to serve our customers in some of the MBTA's busiest stations."

In March Comcast said that it had more than 300,000 hotspots activated across New England, which are part of Comcast’s overall goal of having 8 million Wi-Fi access points across the nation by the end of this year. 

In order to make Wi-Fi more ubiquitous, Comcast recently started to turn up the second SSIDs on routers in customers’ homes, which has led to criticism that the cable operator is causing homeowners’ electric bills to marginally increase. 

In March, Comcast Business started offering a dual band Wi-Fi gateway for small businesses. Since that launch, Comcast Business has doubled the number of hotspots that are available, according to John Gasowski, director, product development, Comcast Business.

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