Posted by David Bernstein
There has been a new shared WiFi network put into place by Comcast, Time Warner, Cox Communications, Bright House Networks and Cablevision Systems that includes over 50,000 hotspots that can be shared by their customers. In fact, this has already been implemented in New York City and central Florida by Cablevision and Bright House. Time Warner plans on building a free WiFi network around Los Angeles for their customers that also offers pay as you go access for non Time Warner customers. These access points will be in high traffic areas such as malls, parks and concert venues. Plus if you are traveling you will be able to get wireless access from another of the partner’s connections with the same account you use in your coverage area.
This merging of cable companies and Verizon has some worried that a decrease in competition will lead to fewer options and higher prices for consumers. Mayors from upstate New York wrote to the FCC saying they feared the deal would “deter any expansion” of Verizon’s fiber-optic FiOS network in their communities, thus “killing thousands of jobs and exacerbating the digital divide.” The partnership expands upon a 2010 agreement reached by Comcast, Cablevision and Time Warner Cable to allow their rivals' customers to roam on each others' networks of Wi-Fi hotspots.