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Comcast Beams Free Wi-Fi In California

Comcast has activated “a few thousand” Wi-Fi hotspots in public locations across its California service areas, expanding the out-of-home Internet service available to broadband customers for no additional charge.

The Wi-Fi service is available free for Xfinity Internet residential customers and Comcast Business Class Internet customers -- a value-added feature designed to attract and retain broadband subscribers as 4G wireless becomes widespread. The operator offers paid options for nonsubscribers to access Wi-Fi.

Comcast currently provides Wi-Fi access to Xfinity Internet customers with thousands of hotspots on the East Coast, including throughout the greater Philadelphia area, Boston and Washington, D.C., and areas of New Jersey, Maryland, Virginia and Delaware. The operator previously announced roaming agreements with Cablevision and TWC, under which Comcast customers can access those MSOs’ hotspots in the New York metro area also for no additional fee.

This summer, Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Cox Communications, Cablevision Systems and Bright House Networks announced the “CableWiFi” initiative. That will let their respective high-speed Internet customers access any of the operators’ Wi-Fi networks for no extra fee via 50,000-plus hotspots.

In California, Wi-Fi hotspots are now live in select cities in Northern and Central California, including the San Francisco Bay Area, Sacramento, Fresno, Monterey, Santa Maria and Chico, as well as Santa Barbara County. The MSO provides a coverage map at

“With Xfinity Wi-Fi, we’re providing them a fast wireless Internet experience while they’re out shopping, eating or otherwise enjoying their time in Northern and Central California,” said Elaine Barden, regional vice president of marketing for Comcast California.