By: Jeff Simmermon at 03:51 pm
Earlier this week, we issued a joint announcement with Bright House Networks, Cablevision, Comcast and Cox Communications stating that in the coming months, we will grant our respective high-speed Internet customers (Standard and higher) access to one another’s WiFi networks.
Here’s what this means: If you’re a Time Warner Cable customer, you’ll be able to log into the “Cable WiFi” networks that you find at public places like malls, parks, beaches, etc – whether you’re in our footprint, Comcast’s, Cox’s, and so forth. Sure, while you’re in our footprint, go ahead and use the TWC WiFi networks. That’s what they’re there for. But when you are outside your home market, feel free to use the “Cable WiFi” network.
This will be launched in New York City and the Tri-State Area, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Tampa and Orlando. But altogether there are 50,000 available hotspots and we plan to expand both access to those hotspots and the number of available hotspots in the near future.
Here’s why this is awesome for me personally:
I blow through a ton of data. This is hardly surprising, considering I’m “the digital guy” in the PR department at a major media/communications company. More and more mobile wireless plans have data caps that come with overage charges. For me, this agreement adds value to my existing cable/broadband subscription by helping me save money off of my wireless bill. If I can hold off on downloading a song, a TV show, or uploading a large photo until I get to a more densely populated area — which is more likely to be a “Cable WiFi” hotspot — I’ll save some money on potential overage charges.
This is never going to completely replace mobile wireless service. There will always be places in the US that don’t have access to WiFi, just as there will always be places that don’t get cell service. Ultimately, I see this reciprocal agreement as a creation of virtual oases. When you’re driving across the country, you’re always going to have to pull off the highway to gas up, use the bathroom, and stretch a little. Now you’re a lot more likely to be able to upload the photos you took and get some more music for the road, faster and better than ever.