The sneaky rascals at U.S. broadband services provider Comcast have launched a new initiative that uses its customers Internet connections to install a vast WiFi network and attempt to make money off it.
Comcast, the nation’s largest ISP, said it’d switch on an additional “xfinitywifi” signal in its customers’ homes that’s separate from the family’s private and secure WiFi signal.
The additional “xfinitywifi” signal will be available only if Comcast Internet customers are using its Xfinity Wireless Gateway device.
Comcast’s goal is to create a network of millions of Xfinity WiFi access points through the new initiative.
Since there’s money to be made here, we presume Comcast will try to aggressively push its wireless gateway device by bugging customers to take it.
The additional “xfinitywifi” WiFi will be offered to both Xfinity Internet customers and non-customers as a WiFi hotspot.
Traveling Xfinity Internet subscribers can sign in and connect using their own usernames and passwords without any extra fee.
Non-Xfinity customers can sign in only after paying a fee of $2.95-$19.95.
Fee rises as the duration of the WiFi connection increases.
Hey, this looks like a cheap way for Comcast to set up a WiFi network, isn’t it?
And the icing on the cake is that Comcast even gets to make money off its customers’ connections.
Comcast said it started a neighborhood hotspot pilot project last year in parts of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Northern Virginia and the Greater Washington, D.C. metro area.
The company claims over 100,000 Xfinity Internet subscribers can access the WiFi access points being offered by other Xfinity Internet subscribers.
To see if your neighborhood is covered under Comcast’s new initiative, visit www.xfinity.com/wifi.
Comcast is offering two, 60-minute complimentary sessions now through December 31, 2013. Look for “xfinitywifi” in the list of available networks.
So, sounds like comcast wants to be a leecher of bandwidth that their customers are paying for. I couldn’t find any information on what customers who are providing bandwidth will be getting in return.
Comcast caps monthly internet bandwidth at 250GB for downloads, the least they could do is credit the donated bandwidth to the customer. If not this seems to be an attempt by comcast to play bandwidth pimp.
You write: I couldn’t find any information on what customers who are providing bandwidth will be getting in return.
Comcast customers, whether they “donate” bandwidth or not, can access the WiFi points for free when they’re traveling.
Non-Comcast customers MUST pay.
BTW, I have another Comcast piece coming up in a couple of hours that should warm the cockles of your heart. That piece will also address your point on the 250GB cap.
I should have written it by now but been busy reading John Le Carre’s delightful new book – A Delicate Truth.