June 10, 2013
Comcast Announces Millions Of Xfinity Wi-Fi Hotspots
Michael Harper for redOrbit.com — Your Universe Online
Comcast has been working to build out their own Wi-Fi network and offer connectivity not just to subscribers but to the general public as well.For instance, the company built hotspots in the Mid-Atlantic regions of the US at train stations, cafes and shopping centers some three years ago. The company even joined an alliance with some of the nation´s largest cable providers to deliver Wi-Fi to one another´s customers in residential neighborhoods in the East Coast and California.
Today the cable provider announced improvements on both of these offerings, expanding the coverage area to their broadband customers and others.
While both offerings deliver Wi-Fi to their customers, one is built specifically for Comcast users while another allows Comcast subscribers to use a network provided by other cable companies.
Comcast calls their broadband service Xfinity, and today announced a new initiative which allows customers to share their signal with one another, in a sense.
According to CNET, Xfinity customers using the newest wireless gateways will be able to broadcast an additional Wi-Fi signal for their neighbors. For example, if a customer lives in an apartment complex dominated by Comcast subscribers, they could potentially remain on Comcast-delivered Wi-Fi throughout their neighborhood. The move is meant to give Xfinity subscribers coverage in more places when they´re away from their home gateways.
In an interview with CNET, Comcast´s senior vice president of business development Tom Nagel stressed that this new feature broadcasts a second Wi-Fi signal rather than let other subscribers pull from the same stream and reduce speeds.
"Our broadband customers will continue to get the service that they are paying for," said Nagel. "That was extremely important to us in designing this product."
The company also says they´ll be expanding the number of neighborhood hotspots to broaden the available coverage for Comcast subscribers. These hotspots will deliver coverage to all Comcast subscribers, not only those who use the Xfinity service, though this network will be named “Xfinitywifi.”
Those who live in a Comcast neighborhood but are not subscribers can also use the network, albeit only twice a week for an hour at a time.
"WiFi is an important part of our strategy to be the place where customers connect all devices, anywhere and at any time," said Nagel, according to USA Today.
These new hotspots are a part of the CableWiFi alliance created last year to expand Wi-Fi coverage to subscribers of five of the nation´s largest providers, including Cablevision, Cox, and Time Warner.
Just as the Xfinity broadband service which shares coverage between customers will not slow down user speeds, it will also not be a part of the CableWiFi neighborhood hotspots. This alliance offers Wi-Fi in public areas and neighborhoods to subscribers of any of the five cable companies.