April 22, 2010 A Convenient, Mysterious Service From Cable Companies By DAVID POGUE
A year ago, I wrote about how Cablevision, my cable company, had quietly begun installing Wi-Fi hot spots all over its market area: New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. These hot spots began popping up in all the public areas: shopping centers, main streets, train stations, parks, marinas and sports complexes. The best part: these hot spots are free to anyone who subscribes to Internet service from Cablevision at home.
Over the year, the signal has only gotten better. In my Connecticut town, it's absolutely amazing how often that "Optimum Wi-Fi" hot spot shows up on my menu bar, ready for free connecting. Once you've introduced your gadget to the network (laptop, app phone like a BlackBerry or an iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad), you never have to log in again. No name, password or Web page login screen. You're just always online, wherever you go in town.
Meanwhile, other big cable companies have been installing free Wi-Fi networks for their own customers.
This is all good news-but not as good as the announcement that landed last week. Starting now, any New York, New Jersey or Connecticut customer of Cablevision, Time Warner or Comcast can use any of those companies' hot spots.
In other words, I, a Cablevision customer, can now use all of Time Warner's and Comcast's hot spots in these three states. If you have Time Warner's Road Runner service at home, you're now welcome to hop onto Cablevision's Optimum hot spots wherever you find them, or Comcast's Xfinity hot spots. And so on. It's as though all three companies have merged for the purpose of accommodating your Wi-Fi gadget, hugely multiplying the number of hot spots that are available to you.
ObTelecom: I wonder if they'll take VoIP?
Bill Horne Moderator