Cablevision (NYSE: CVC) extended its Optimum WiFi offering to include 60 new hotspots along the 2.2-mile oceanfront boardwalk in Long Beach, N.Y., the latest salvo in the cable operator's effort to shake up the mobile data market by building up its Wi-Fi network footprint.
The new hotspots continue a resurgence of the Long Beach Boardwalk, which had to be rebuilt after suffering extreme damage during Superstorm Sandy before fully reopening last year. The total number of Optimum WiFi hotspots in the city of Long Beach now exceeds 350.
Optimum WiFi delivers free wireless Internet access to customers of Cablevision's Optimum Online high-speed Internet service. Cablevision, the nation's fifth-largest MSO, serves millions of households and businesses throughout the greater New York area.
During the company's first-quarter earnings call in May, CEO James Dolan said Cablevision was working on Wi-Fi products that "will be disruptive to the current market players," particularly in the wireless data market.
"We've been saying for quite some time that Wi-Fi is a differentiator for our business," Dolan added. At that time, Cablevision had some 100,000 access point, but that footprint is growing quickly.
Like fellow cable operator Comcast (NASDAQ: CMCSA), Cablevision has been deploying Wi-Fi "smart routers" in customers' residences, which provide private Wi-Fi service to those subscribers but also turn those locations into publicly accessible hotspots for nomadic customers. Dolan said Cablevision will use those routers to reach "approximately 1 million Optimum Wi-Fi access points" by the end of 2014.
- see this Cablevision release
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