Cable operators band together for WiFi in New York

Cablevision Systems, Comcast and Time Warner announced an agreement that will enable their high-speed Internet customers to roam across the companies' respective WiFi networks for free in the New York metropolitan area.

As Glenn Fleishmann at Wi-Fi Networking news points out, the move puts pressure on competitor Verizon, which has by far the weakest free WiFi offer that works only on a subset of Windows laptops. The three cable operators have very few WiFi territories that overlap. Cablevision's WiFi service is credited with staving off competition from Verizon's fiber-optic FIOS TV service.

Cablevision has the largest number of WiFi hotspots coverage in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. Comcast and Time Warner Cable were expected to embark on aggressive plans of their own, but now it appears the roaming agreement may satisfy their needs. Time Warner Cable has deployed a handful of WiFi hotspots in Manhattan, Queens and at Long Island Railroad rail stations.

Each access point now displays authentication options for all three WiFi services--Optimum WiFi, Time Warner Cable WiFi and Xfinity WiFi--allowing customers to use their own provider's sign-on process to get online.

For more:
- see this release
- read Wi-Fi Networking News

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