As noted by our fearless leader, paying for Internet service when you’re away from home is, at this point, stupid. You can find free WiFi in any Starbucks, and in fact it’s gotten to the point where you can walk into most major fast food chains and find a connection.
Seriously, when you can go into a Denny’s and start reading Uproxx, the ship has sailed on charging for the Internet, guys.
And now the huge cable companies that dominate the communications landscape have ever, ever so kindly decided to give each other’s customers access to their WiFi hotspots, generally placed in locations where people tend to congregate, like train stations, malls, and so on.
On Monday, Bright House Networks, Cablevision, Comcast, Cox Communications, and Time Warner Cable announced on the first day of the Cable Show here that they’d enable each other’s broadband customers to access their metro Wi-Fi hot spots. The companies are calling the new network “CableWiFi,” so that subscribers will be able to find the hot spots when they’re roaming outside their own cable territory.
The CableWifi network will be added to each of the participating cable companies’ services in the coming months. This means that Cablevision customers from Long Island will be able to access Time Warner’s Wi-Fi networks in Los Angeles, and vice versa.
The way it will work is that customers of any of these cable companies can look for the CableWiFi network and through a simple sign-on process connect using the same credentials as when accessing their own providers’ Wi-Fi networks. Once subscribers have signed on once to any of the “CableWiFi” networks, they will be able to automatically authenticate onto any other CableWiFi network, the companies said in a press release.
So if you need to get online, and can’t find a McDonalds, or a Starbucks, or a Wendy’s, or a free network made available by the local municipality, and can’t just jump on someone else’s router, and you are a cable broadband subscriber with one of five companies, well, your prayers have officially been answered.
This is what’s called “the long tail,” right?
(Image courtesy khawkins04 on Flickr)