Cablecos Expanding their Free-to-Subscribers Wi-Fi Hotspots

– If You Can’t Offer Cellular, Give it Away
– Comcast Opens Several Thousand Wi-Fi Hotspots in Northern
California, Says More Are Coming

A few years back, several major US cablecos tried to get into
the wireless market so they could add cellular and become quad
play services just like the telcos. Now that those efforts
have fizzled, they are building out archipelagos of Wi-Fi
hotpots that their subscribers can use for free. Comcast and
Cablevision seem to be heading that effort.

Comcast has expanded its Xfinity Wi-Fi service from the
Northeast US to north and central California areas, such as
the San Francisco Bay Area, Sacramento, Fresno, Monterey,
Santa Maria and Chico. It’s already activated a few thousand
hot spots in those areas and expects to activate more by year-

Comcast already had a string of Wi-Fi hotspots back east in
and around Boston, Philadelphia, Washington, DC, New Jersey,
Maryland, Virginia and Delaware.

Comcast, Bright House, Cablevision, Cox and Time Warner Cable
have formed an alliance that lets each company’s broadband
subscribers use hotspots on the others’ networks for free.

The Comcast service is free to its broadband subscribers
(which shows how profitable broadband has become to the
cablecos). It offers non-subscribers a la carte access at
either of $2.95 per hour, $7.95 per day, $19.95 per week or
$29.99 for six-months.

Comcast said it’s using gear from Ericsson (via its
acquisition of BelAir Networks) and Cisco.

In its ongoing battle against the telcos’ cellular services,
Comcast has an app called Voice2Go that lets subscribers place
free phone calls via Wi-Fi. If you can’t beat ‘em at cellular,
then give it away, but keep those broadband dollars rolling

Second Screen Apps, Tablets & OTT Are Changing TV Viewing
– The Coming Demise of the EPG and the Remote

Consumers will soon wonder how people got by with linear TV,
grid-like EPGs and 1960s era remotes.

In an OTT world where viewers can choose from among tens of
thousands of shows that are always available and on every
device they own, second screen apps, recommendation engines
and intelligent search will become the way to find something
to watch.

A new report from Rider Research called “How Second Screen
Apps, Tablets & OTT Are Changing TV Viewing Habits” explains
how those will soon replace traditional electronic program
guides and remote controls.

Kendra Chamberlain, who prepared the report, said, “Consumers
aren’t watching TV the same way they did in the 1960s or the
1990s. The digital era has created a new type of content
viewer who watches TV with a smartphone, tablet or laptop an
arm’s length away, who prefers to use a search bar to find
something to watch, who wants to browse titles recommended
based on personal tastes, and who expects to access that
content anytime, and anywhere there’s an Internet connect.”

The report is based on articles from prior issues of the
newsweekly The Online Reporter and on new reports, summaries
and conclusions.

For a free copy of the extract, email We’ll include prices for single
and multiple readers in a company.

You can purchase the report and see multi-reader prices at:

Research Reports

About the Author

The Online Reporter is the weekly subscription-based strategy bulletin about the enabling technologies of broadband, Wi-Fi, HDR, home networks, UHD 4K TV & OTT services; identifying trends in the Digital Media space. Only a fraction of our material here is published here. To see 4 free copies, follow the links above or go to

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