Cable Show 2013: 'CableWiFi' Alliance Pushes Past 150,000 Hotspots

Washington -- The MSO members of the “CableWiFi” roaming alliance announced Monday that they have deployed more than 150,000 hotspots combined, essentially tripling the size of the wireless broadband network since announcing the wireless broadband partnership at last year’s cable event.

Those MSOs – Cablevision Systems, Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Cox Communications and Bright House Networks – claim they now operate the largest Wi-Fi network in the U.S.

According to Multichannel News research and tracking, those MSOs have deployed north of 165,000 hotspots. Among individual U.S. MSOs, Cablevision, the first in the group to deploy public Wi-Fi on a broad basis, has deployed more than 80,000 hot spots.

Customers of those MSOs can tap in by logging in with their credentials when they encounter a Wi-Fi access point broadcasting the “CableWiFi” SSID. Once a device is authenticated, it will auto-connect to other CableWiFi hotspots automatically.

Together, the CableWiFi members have deployed access points in several U.S. cities, including New York City; Los Angeles; Chicago; Philadelphia; Atlanta; Baltimore; Boston; Washington, D.C.; San Francisco; Orlando; Tampa; and Kansas City.

The first implementation of CableWiFi began in May 2012, when the five MSOs announced a combined metro WiFi networks comprised of over 50,000 hotspots.

“At Cablevision, we see firsthand how much usage and convenience WiFi delivers to our customers, which is why we have long been a proponent of this value-added benefit.  When we partner with other cable operators in this expansion of Cable WiFi, it gives our Optimum Online customers even greater access to wireless Internet service,” said Gemma Toner, Cablevision’s SVP of broadband product management, in a statement.

“WiFi is a key component of our efforts to deliver Xfinity Internet customers the fastest and most reliable Internet connection, both inside and outside of the home,” added Tom Nagel, SVP of business development at Comcast Cable.

"We recognize that an Internet connection wherever you are is a hugely important feature so we’ll continue to bring more WiFi to the places where our customers live, work and play. It’s like taking your home Internet service with you," said Mike Roudi, SVP of corporate development for Time Warner Cable.

“Through these WiFi networks, our customers will benefit from having access to WiFi that is complementary to their cellular plans and experience,” said Kelly Williams, VP of product strategy and management at Cox.

“Our customers will enjoy expanded access to WiFi connectivity while on-the-go through this rapidly growing network of Cable WiFi access points located throughout the U.S.,” said Leo Cloutier, SVP, corporate strategy and business development at Bright House Networks.