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Comcast Business Rolls Private/Public WiFi Gateways

Comcast Business said it has introduced a wireless gateway tailored for commercial environments that enables its customers to assign one private signal for its own day-to-day needs and a separate, public signal for customers or visitors.

The new device is entering view as Comcast Business develops a new “amenity” WiFi offering for small business customers that could, for example, provide access to a separate, company-branded SSID with usage rules, security components and other terms of service set by the business owner. The device being rolled out now delivers a second "Xfinity WiFi" SSID.

Comcast said the new Business Wireless Gateway, developed by Cisco Systems, is now included in most of its business Internet plans.

“We are making the Business Wireless Gateway available nationwide because research has proven time and again that Wi-Fi is a game changer for brick and mortar based small businesses,” said John Guillaume, vice president of product development, Comcast Business, in a statement. “Many different types of customers – coffee shops, law firms, real estate offices, gyms, libraries and more – want to attract and retain visitors to their location and give employees the tools they need to be more productive. Wi-Fi can be critical on both fronts, and this device can help make that easy to manage.”

A Comcast-commissioned study of small businesses found that most view WiFi as equally or more effective at making patrons feel welcome than amenities such as magazines, candy and water.