Cable TV companies for the most part may have abandoned the idea of building their own mobile networks, but increasingly they are warming up to the idea of building Wi-Fi networks in their key residential services markets. The latest cable guy to do so is Bright House Networks, which late last week announce that it has worked with its vendor, BelAir Networks, to roll out more than 2,000 Wi-Fi access points in Florida.
Like Cablevision Systems, Comcast and Time Warner Cable before it, Bright House sees the value of offering Wi-Fi coverage to its broadband Internet customers as a free amenity outside of their residences. The operator is looking to expand its initial Wi-Fi coverage to more than 4,000 hotspots by the end of 2012.
Bright House said it has focused its Wi-Fi installations in marina areas, including Clearwater, Daytona Beach, Ybor City and River Walk, as well as travel routes frequently used by its customers, such as Orlando's International Drive. The network also can be used by consumers who are not Bright House broadband customers on a pay-per-use basis.
The aggressive moves by cable TV companies in deploying public Wi-Fi hotspots is the latest evidence that the sector is being revisited by new service provider strategies a few years after the quick rise and more rapid demise of many municipal Wi-Fi strategies. Presumably, cable TV companies could also make these new Wi-Fi sites available for traffic off-load from mobile broadband networks, already a hotly discussed technology trend as 2012 has dawned.
- see this Multichannel News post
Cablevision has dedicated a TV channel to its Wi-Fi coverage info
Comcast got aggressive with its Wi-Fi strategy in 2010