Feature Article

May 02, 2014

CableWiFi Alliance Surpasses Quarter Million Mark in Less than Two Years

Cable companies were traditionally known for providing video services, and that was their bread-and-butter for many years, but that is no longer the case. Today's digital world needs broadband service, and cable is the primary source of broadband for most people. With more people using cable broadband technology, the industry as a whole is investing heavily on infrastructure to deliver access to consumers wherever they are. The CableWiFi Alliance was set up to provide a nationwide network of Wi-Fi hotspots with the collaboration of some cable companies to give customers Internet access outside of their home or business.

The first implementation of cable Wi-Fi began in May 2012, and in two short years the alliance has grown the number of hotspots for their customers to 250,000 locations. The network has indoor and outdoor hotspots located in many high-traffic locations throughout the country.

Hotspots are located in popular shopping destinations, cafés, malls, sports and concert arenas, restaurants, parks and beaches. They are available in major metropolitan locations including: New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Baltimore, Boston, Washington, San Francisco and more.

Users can find a hotspot by visiting the Wi-Fi homepage or downloading the Wi-Fi Finder application of each provider onto a mobile device. In order to access the network customers use a sign-on process using the same username and password when they joined their provider’s network. After authenticating their device, they can start using high-speed Internet, and future connections can be connected automatically to a CableWiFi hotspot when they are in range, if they so choose.

The service is available for free to qualified customers of Cablevision, Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Cox Communications and Bright House Networks.

The cable companies want to ensure customers have access to data at all times because it is a better source of revenue than video. According to UBS, it costs cable companies more money to provide video services, and it delivers lower margins than data services. The voice telephony service for example provides Comcast with a 91 percent margin and 82 percent for Time Warner, while video delivers 55 percent for both companies.

“In today's hyper-connected world, Wi-Fi hotspots have become one of the most important and fastest growing technologies of the Internet era. With 250,000 Wi-Fi hotspots now available to millions of cable broadband customers at no additional charge, the value and reach of cable's robust Internet service increases significantly,” said Michael Powell, National Cable & Telecommunications Association (NCTA) president  & CEO. 

Edited by Maurice Nagle

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