Comcast, other cable providers to pool access on 50,000 Wi-Fi hotspots

    Comcast will team up with a coalition of cable providers to offer a comprehensive wireless network.Carriers would be happy to offload some of the expensive traffic on their mobile networks, says Kevin Tofel who writes for tech site GigaOm. He says customers may also be able to stay within cheaper data plans. “It can help you offset maybe your data plan, which has a limit on it,” he said Tuesday. “Wi-Fi is typically unlimited. So it’s a big win, I think, all around for everbody involved.”

    Tofel says subscription services such as Boingo already offer access to the Wi-Fi hotspots of multiple carriers.

    The cable providers’ partnership will pool 50,000 hotspots concentrated in the Philadelphia to New York City corridor. Subscribers to the five major operators will have free access to the shared system.

    “Wi-Fi was considered a home network but now you go out and about in public and it’s becoming the network,” says Tofel.

    “It’s becoming accepted as a primary network onramp for people.”

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