US cable companies in WiFi sharing effort


Time Warner Cable, Comcast to enable end users to access rivals’ hotspot services outside their home markets.

Several major U.S. cable companies, including Time Warner Cable Inc. and Comcast Corp., have agreed to enable each other’s high-speed Internet customers to access metro wireless hotpots outside of their home markets.
The companies, which also include Bright House Networks, Cablevision Systems Corp., and Cox Communications, have created a new network name “CableWifi” to allow subscribers to access more than 50,000 WiFi hotspots.
Bright House Networks and Cablevision launched an initial implementation in New York City and Central Florida earlier this month. The other companies will add the CableWifi name alongside their branded hotspots over the next few months.
The move comes amid a drive by telecommunications industry to gain wireless subscribers by offering faster and more-reliable network connections.
“We believe that WiFi is a superior approach to mobile data, and that cable providers are best positioned to build the highest-capacity national network offering customers fast and reliable Internet connections when away from their home or business broadband service,” said Kristin Dolan, a marketing executive at Cablevision.
The companies called the effort the largest WiFi sharing effort among cable companies to date. In 2010, Comcast and Time Warner Cable agreed to allow customers in New York City, Long Island, New Jersey, Philadelphia and Connecticut to access hotpots offered by each operator in these areas.