MSO trio to share WiFi access in New York metro

Publicly admitting what had been a loosely held private assumption, Cablevision Systems, Comcast and Time Warner Cable said they will share WiFi access throughout the New York metro area, including portions of Northern New Jersey, Long Island and the New York City suburbs-even though most of the network was built by Cablevision.

The three companies had all deployed their own versions of WiFi networks across the heavily congested area, targeting public places such as train stations, parks and other gathering spots where they offered "free" access to the Internet for accredited subscribers. The new arrangement makes clear that subscribers will now be able to freely roam across all three MSOs' networks without incurring charges.

"Cable providers interconnecting WiFi services so customers can roam freely across networks is an extremely meaningful and transformative development," said John Bickham, Cablevision's president of cable and communications in a news release which called the agreement "the first of its kind."

The WiFi service is a useful ploy for cable operators competing without a mobile wireless offering since it also allows subscribers to access the WiFi network with WiFi-enabled mobile phones in addition to more traditional laptops and PDAs.

For more:
- see this news release

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