Comcast activates thousands of California Wi-Fi hotspots

Comcast announced it has deployed and activated a couple thousand Xfinity Wi-Fi hotspots across northern and central California, marking an expansion of its Wi-Fi ambitions beyond the eastern seaboard.

Xfinity WiFi is available for no additional charge to Xfinity Internet residential customers or Comcast Business Class Internet customers in select cities across the San Francisco Bay Area and San Joaquin and Sacramento valleys. Comcast spokesman Bryan Bird told the Fresno Bee that the cable TV operator intends to add more Wi-Fi hotspots to its current list of 2,700 in California. Non-Comcast customers can access the service by paying a per-use charge.

"Our customers are increasingly leveraging wireless devices, platforms and apps and looking for ways to enjoy their entertainment and communications outside of their homes," said Elaine Barden, regional vice president of marketing for Comcast California.

The full Wi-Fi coverage list includes the San Francisco Bay Area, as well as Aptos, Atwater, Buellton, Cameron Park, Carmel, Chico, Chowchilla, Colusa, Corcoran, Davis, Diamond Springs, Dinuba, El Dorado Hills, Elk Grove, Fairfield, Folsom, Fresno, Galt, Grass Valley, Hanford, Kerman, Lathrop, Lemoore, Lodi, Lompoc, Los Banos, Madera, Manteca, Marysville, Mendota, Merced, Modesto, Monterey, Murphys, Nevada City, Newman, Oakdale, Oroville, Parlier, Patterson, Placerville, Rancho Cordova, Reedley, Roseville, Sacramento, Salinas, San Andreas, Sanger, Santa Maria, Selma, Solvang, Sonora, Soquel, Stockton, Tracy, Tulare, Twain Harte, Vacaville, Vallejo, Visalia, Willows and Yuba City.

Comcast's California Wi-Fi network expansion is a shift for the company, which had been concentrating its Wi-Fi efforts primarily on markets along the nation's eastern seaboard, said GigaOM, noting the operator has rolled out extensive Wi-Fi networks using Ericsson BelAir Networks equipment in and around Boston; Philadelphia, Baltimore, Washington, D.C., and Richmond, Va.

In mid-September Comcast switched on almost 2,500 Wi-Fi hotspots throughout eastern Massachusetts and southern New Hampshire.

Comcast previously announced roaming agreements with fellow cable operators Cablevision and Time Warner Cable, under which Xfinity Internet customers can enjoy thousands of Xfinity WiFi hotspots in the greater New York tri-state area for no additional fee. The company also is part of a broader roaming partnership, which was announced in May and includes Time Warner Cable, Cablevision, Cox Communications and Bright House Networks.

For more:
- see this Comcast release
- see this Fresno Bee article
- see this GigaOM article
- see this PCMag article

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