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The Cable Show 2011: Cablevision Ups WiFi Speeds

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In a bid to strengthen its competitive position against 4G cellular networks, Cablevision Systems Corp. has significantly bumped up the speed of its Optimum WiFi network, which spans tens of thousands of outdoor access points and thousands of indoor locations across the New York metropolitan area.

The Optimum WiFi service, which is available to the company's high-speed, is now offering up to 15 megabits-per-second (Mbps) downstream and up to 4 Mbps upstream, an exponential jump from the network's previous top speed of 3 Mbps downstream and 1.5 Mbps upstream.

The new data rates now match the downstream speed of the MSO's wired high-speed Internet service, and easily beat cellular data speeds over 3G and 4G networks.

"This is a huge enhancement for our customers and a significant step forward for mobile online access," noted Kevin Curran, Cablevision's senior vice president of wireless product management in a statement. "With this increase, Optimum WiFi not only blows away 3G and 4G cellular data speeds, it's three times faster than the average wired residential broadband service across the country."

More than 500,000 Optimum Online high-speed Internet customers have already accessed the Internet when away from their home or small business connections over Optimum WiFi network, which spans tens of thousands of access points in high-traffic outdoor locations like downtown areas, commuter rail platforms and parking lots and parks, as well as in restaurants, cafés and other businesses that subscribe to the company's high-speed Internet and phone services.

Looking forward, Cablevision has also submitted formal proposals to both the MTA and NJ Transit to extend Optimum WiFi access to commuter trains across the New York Metropolitan Area as well.