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Charter Still ‘In Process’ of Managed WiFi Rollout

Plume's OpenSync
Charter says it's still in the process of making OpenSync-managed WiFi “available throughout its footprint.’ (Image credit: Plume)

Despite having announced adoption of managed WiFi technology, Charter Communications is, increasingly, an outlier among U.S. telecoms for having yet to launch an actual service.

The eighth-largest cable company in the U.S., Atlantic Broadband, recently became the latest MSO to launch managed WiFi based on a cloud-based technology developed by Plume, OpenSync. 

Atlantic Broadband, which reported 492,212 broadband customers as of the end of September, is now offering these subscribers “WiFi Your Way.” Powered by Plume’s HomePass technology, the new service includes AI-driven optimization features, which adapt router settings to customer usage patterns to deliver better speed and performance over time. There are control and personalization features that let parents shut down and enable their kids’ devices from their iOS and Android smartphones. 

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There are also online security features, as well as home security enablements, such as motion detection. 

The Atlantic Broadband announcement comes about 14 months after Charter, the No. 2 U.S. cable operator, said its Spectrum operations would deploy managed WiFi based on Plume’s core technology, the open-sourced, cloud-based software OpenSync. 

Stephanie Mitchko-Beale

Stephanie Mitchko-Beale (Image credit: Charter)

But Charter still hasn’t deployed the managed WiFi service, which it calls “Advanced In-Home WiFi,” to key markets such as Los Angeles. 

For its part, Charter just published a self-produced Q&A with its top technology executive, Stephanie Mitchko-Beale, who said the company is “in the process of launching” Advanced In-Home WiFi “throughout our footprint.”

The service, she said, will enable Charter’s more than 28.6 million home internet customers “control over their security and privacy by letting them see every device that’s connected to their network and how it’s being used.

“Throughout the year, we plan to make Advanced WiFi available in more markets, and we continue to expand the availability to our own Spectrum-branded WiFi Pods to enable customers to maximize network connectivity throughout their home,” Mitchko-Beale added. 

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Asked which Charter markets have seen Advanced In-Home WiFi deployments,
a representative for the MSO referred Multichannel News to the Mitchko-Beale statement. 

Notably, top U.S. cable operator Comcast, an early investor in Plume, has been offering managed WiFi services based on OpenSync to 30 million-plus broadband customers for several years. 

For now, the limited penetration of managed WiFi doesn’t appear to be curtailing Charter’s overall proliferation of broadband services, with the cable operator adding 537,000 high-speed internet customers in the third quarter.