Here’s my three-word summary concerning this:
It’s about time.
Comcast, Time Warner, Cablevision Systems, Cox Communications, and BrightHouse Networks (and I happen to be a BrightHouse subscriber with Tampa being one of the covered areas) just opened up a whopping 50,000 Wi-Fi hotspots, and the way it was done actually makes complete sense. If you are subscribed to *any* of the big 5, you can roam freely and use the hotspots across networks. This is one of the rare instances where Big Cable actually did something right for a change.
Should you be subscribed to any of the big 5, a quick login to cablewifi.com allows the roaming use in any of the covered areas on any of the Big Cable companies. That’s awesome.
What do I mean by “it begins”? I mean that this is truly the first instance of Wi-Fi access worth paying a cable company for. Before this point, the better option was 4G LTE. But now the cable companies have something to fight back with. Granted, the coverage isn’t nearly as wide as 4G LTE – but – if you live and work in one of the covered areas, it basically means you can dump your cell phone for all-in Skype or Google Voice connectivity and use a mobile devices such as an iPod Touch with appropriate Google or Skype app.
This is also the first instance I’ve seen where, if close enough to the hotspots, you don’t even need a cablemodem at all. It’s all wireless. The only thing you’d actually need wired is the box for your cable television. However even that may become a thing of the past once the Wi-Fi network starts expanding.
Now for those of you concerned about security (or rather insecurity) with wireless, here’s what I have to say about that.
First, an cable ISP already knows everything you do online anyway, so whether wired or wireless, there’s no difference concerning privacy level.
Second, cable ISPs know every single channel you watch, how long you watch certain channels and so on. Should that tech go wireless, again, it’s no different than wired.
Third, as far as rogue break-ins by hackers to wireless networks are concerned, the threat level to you is actually less. The primary reason a hacker busts into a wireless network is specifically to get free internet connectivity, so they’re not going to bother breaking into your network since connecting in this fashion doesn’t even *require* a wireless router. The hacker would simply go for the provider of the wireless network instead, which in this instance would not be you.
Personally, I think this is all great news. Remember how the US government said years ago that we had to improve our nationwide internet connectivity. Well, you’re now looking at it square in the face. It took longer than expected, but wireless connectivity of this kind is a huge step forward. Remember, the rural areas of the US can’t get internet connectivity simply because the poles that carry the wires don’t go there. Wireless expansion is what will ultimately get everyone connected for those that want it, so believe me when I say that what Big Cable did here is really important.
Via Information Week
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