from the investing-in-infrastructure dept.
John Biggs writes at TechCrunch that Comcast is quietly turning on public hotspots in its customers' routers, essentially turning private homes into public hotspots. Comcast customers get free Wi-Fi wherever there is a Comcast box and the company gets to build out a private network to compete with telecoms. Fifty thousand users with Arris Touchstone Telephony Wireless Gateway Modems essentially basic modems that cable providers drop off at your home have already been turned into public hotspots in Houston, and there are plans to enable 150,000 more.
But concerns are being raised about this service. In addition to using customers' electricity for their service, some say that in areas that have lots of apartment buildings and multi-tenant dwellings within close proximity of one another, performance will slow down. Those routers are transmitting on the same channels for their 2.4GHz and 5GHz signals, leading to RF competition. "Comcast's FAQ about Xfinity's hotspots doesn't go into any details about channels and bands," writes Samara Lynn, "but the company should be clear about how adding these hotspot networks affects the performance of existing WLANs-especially in business use."