Wireless World

Cable Operators Do A Nice Thing, Kinda, Team Up to Offer Free Wifi

Public can't help but wonder what they're plotting.

freewifi Cable Operators Do A Nice Thing, Kinda, Team Up to Offer Free WifiHey, look: The cable companies all went in together to get something nice for you. The Wall Street Journal reports that Comcast, Time Warner, Cable Vision, Bright House, and Cox are banding together and opening their Wifi hotspots to each other’s customers. That means more than 50,000 hotspots around New York, Los Angeles, Tampa, Orlando and Philadelphia. Nor will users have to remember umpteen different brand names; providers will now take the marvelously generic “CableWiFi” as their network name.

Time Warner will even have some options for non-subscribers, though the last thing most of us want is the crushing disappointment of looking for free Wifi and finding a paid service.

Of course, their motives aren’t exactly mysterious. Says the Journal:

The roaming partnership comes as the cable industry is seeking to differentiate its offerings from rival phone and satellite companies—and when the entire pay-TV industry is trying to keep up with consumers watching greater amounts of video on mobile devices.

But the main thing we’re wondering is whether the signal will be strong enough to stream Aereo.
Follow Kelly Faircloth on Twitter or via RSS. kfaircloth@observer.com