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Cablevision Doggedly Pushes Wi-Fi

Cablevision Systems launched a new app for Apple mobile devices to let customers find the nearest Optimum Wi-Fi hotspot and is kicking off an animated ad campaign featuring "HotSpot the Dog," who schools his dopey owner on the benefits of the wireless service.

The MSO's Wi-Fi service, which comprises more than 35,000 indoor and outdoor access points across the New York metro area, is available to Optimum Online customers for no additional cost.

Cablevision's renewed Wi-Fi marketing push comes after the company last month teamed up with Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Cox Communications and Bright House Networks to let each other's high-speed Internet customers access their respective Wi-Fi networks. That initiative, dubbed CableWiFi, provides the subscribers of participating MSOs reciprocal access to more than 50,000 Wi-Fi hotspots across the U.S.

The new app is available as a free download in the Apple iTunes App Store for iPhone, iPod touch and iPad devices. Users can conduct quick, advanced, and "near me" searches for hotspots whether or not their iOS device is connected to the Internet. 

In the "HotSpot the Dog" ad, the canine tells his owner, Ben, that he wants to bring his smartphone along on a walk -- but Ben objects that the dog's wireless data charges are out of control. "Don't worry about it, our town has dozens of Optimum hotspots," the dog replies. The ad can be viewed at

"Optimum WiFi is an important extension of our broadband service, and we want to make it as easy as possible for our customers to find and use this free access when away from their wired home or business locations," Cablevision vice president of wireless development Timothy Farrell said in a statement. "Our new app will help guide customers to the nearest Optimum WiFi hotspot, just like their own personal version of HotSpot the dog, who helps his owner Ben stay connected through Optimum WiFi."

The Optimum Wi-Fi network provides speeds of up to 15 Megabits per second downstream and 4 Mbps upstream, which Cablevision noted is much faster than 3G data services. According to the MSO, customers use its Wi-Fi more than 1 million times each day to connect to the Internet.