May 21, 2012 — 11:01am ET | By Phil Goldstein
Free newsletter via e-mail
FCC extends review of Verizon’s cable deals by three weeks
Verizon: We’ll sell 700 MHz spectrum to get cable companies’ AWS spectrum
RCA: Verizon warehousing 44 MHz in some markets, doesn’t need more
Verizon’s Mead presses Genachowski on getting cable companies’ spectrum
FCC presses Verizon, cable companies for more data on deals
The country’s largest cable companies have banded together to create a nationwide Wi-Fi roaming network for their customers, giving their subscribers free access to 50,000 hotspots that the companies collectively own.
Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Cablevision, Cox Communications and Bright House Networks said they will create a new network name, “CableWiFi,” for subscribers to use when accessing the Wi-Fi hotspots outside their home market. The companies said that over the next few months the “CableWiFi” network name will be added by each of the cable companies to their branded Wi-Fi hotspots. In the coming months, users will be able to have their devices auto-connect to the Internet when located in any of the “CableWiFi” hotspots.
Sign up for our FREE newsletter for more news like this sent to your inbox!
Currently, the companies offer 50,000 Wi-Fi hotspots located in New York City and the surrounding Tri-State area, Los Angeles, Tampa, Orlando, and Philadelphia. The companies said they plan to continue to grow the number of Wi-Fi hotspots and expand into several additional cities.
The deal is not without precedent. In early 2010, Cablevision, Comcast and Time Warner Cable struck a deal allowing their customers in New York City, Long Island, New Jersey, Philadelphia and Connecticut to access W-iFi hotspots offered by each operator in these areas.
The deal comes amid an FCC review of Verizon Wireless’ (NYSE:VZ) planned $3.9 billion purchase of AWS spectrum from the cable companies, excluding Cablevision. In December, Verizon agreed to pay $3.6 billion for the nationwide AWS spectrum licenses held by SpectrumCo, a joint venture of cable companies Comcast, Time Warner Cable and Bright House. Separately, Verizon said it will buy Cox Communication’s 20 MHz of AWS spectrum covering 28 million POPs for $315 million.
Interestingly, Verizon Wireless might at some point also offer access to the cable companies’ joint Wi-Fi network. Part of Verizon’s spectrum purchase includes an agreement that it be allowed to resell cable services. A Verizon spokesperson declined to comment on the topic.
Should be interesting…what are your thoughts