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Cablevision Systems has completed the first phase of its Wi-Fi network, having installed and activated routers in commuter rail platforms and station parking lots across Long Island in New York.

Cablevision’s broadband customers get free unlimited access to Optimum Wi-Fi.

The company announced that it would build the network in May. Over the next two years, it plans to deploy Wi-Fi in commercial and high-consumer traffic areas across its service area, which covers parts of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.  

Optimum Online customers using laptop computers and portable Wi-Fi-enabled devices such as the iPhone and iPod Touch can access Optimum Wi-Fi through a simple sign-on screen. Once a customer logs into the service by entering their Optimum user ID and password, the network delivers symmetrical speeds of up to 1.5 Mbps.

Tom Rutledge, Cablevision's chief operating officer, said, "We believe free and broadly available Wi-Fi access will become an important and popular enhancement for our Optimum Online customers."

Previously activated Optimum Wi-Fi community zones include the Bridgeport & Port Jefferson Ferry Line; commercial zones in Sag Harbor, Northport and Huntington on Long Island; Westport and New Canaan in Connecticut; Peekskill, Pleasantville and Pelham in Westchester/Hudson Valley; Denville, Ridgewood and Tenafly in New Jersey; and Parkchester in the Bronx.

While AT&T has thousands of Wi-Fi hotspots across the country, Cablevision is claiming that its Optimum Wi-Fi is the largest and most advanced consumer Wi-Fi network in the nation based on geographic coverage.

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