Comcast, Cablevision, Cox Communications, Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks have launched an initiative to allow each other’s high-speed Internet customers to access their WiFi hotspots.
This means if you’re a Comcast customer in Los Angeles, you can get free access to Time Warner’s WiFi hotspots in New York for free and vice versa.
The five cable operators currently have 50,000 WiFi hotspots in New York City and the surrounding Tri-State area, Los Angeles, Tampa, Orlando and Philadelphia.
The new initiative is a good start but for travelers to benefit big time the cable companies must quickly expand both the number of cities and the WiFi hotspots.
A new network name called CableWiFi has been created for subscribers to use when accessing WiFi hotspots outside their home market.
Apparently, the first implementation is already complete with Bright House Networks and Cablevision launching CableWiFi alongside their branded WiFi networks in the New York City area and central Florida earlier this month.
Over the next few months, the CableWiFi network name is to be added by each of the cable companies to their branded WiFi hotspots.
When traveling outside their home markets, high-speed Internet subscribers of the cable companies will look for the CableWiFi network and through a simple sign-on process connect using the same user name/password as when accessing their providers’ WiFi networks.
Subscribers should soon be able to have their devices auto-connect to the Internet when located in any of the Cable WiFi hotspots.
The five cable operators said they plan to grow the number of WiFi hotspots and expand into additional cities but did not provide any time frame.
Subscribers can find the nearest WiFi hotspots by visiting the WiFi homepage of their current cable provider or going to CableWiFi.