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posted by Dopefish on Thursday March 06 2014, @01:30AM   Printer-friendly
from the what-could-possibly-go-wrong dept.

Papas Fritas writes:

"Robert Channick reports at the Chicago Tribune that Comcast is set to turn hundreds of thousands of Chicago-area homes into wi-fi hot spots, using existing Comcast equipment to build out its publicly accessible wireless network.

The neighborhood hot spots initiative, rolling out during the next several months, will send a separate Wi-Fi signal from Comcast-issued home equipment, enabling anyone within range to get online. Soon, entire residential blocks will begin to show as hot spots on Xfinity's Wi-Fi mobile app. Because the Comcast subscriber's signal will be kept separate from the second, publicly available signal, the subscriber's speed and privacy shouldn't be affected. 'They'll look like two separate networks and they'll act like two separate networks,' says Tom Nagel. 'Any use on the public side doesn't impact the private side.' Once the dual-mode modems are activated remotely by Comcast, visitors will use their own Xfinity credentials to sign on, and will not need the homeowner's permission or password to tap into the public Wi-Fi signal.

Non-subscribers will get two free hours a month; beyond that, they can access Xfinity Wi-Fi on a per-use basis. Rates run from $2.95 per hour to $19.95 per week, according to Comcast. Xfinity subscribers can travel from hot spot to hot spot in this case, from home to home without needing to log on again through their mobile device. 'The Utopian ideal of a massive, free Wi-Fi network has been around since the early days of Wi-Fi, but there was never an economically viable path to deliver it,' says Craig Moffett. 'Comcast has a better shot at it than just about anybody else.'"

 
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  • (Score: 2, Informative) by Sir Finkus on Thursday March 06 2014, @02:05AM

    by Sir Finkus (192) on Thursday March 06 2014, @02:05AM (#11654) Journal

    If I've guessing correctly, they'll be using the modems people rent from them. If you provide your own equipment, you won't be a hotspot. With the default equipment you can't even turn off the wireless.

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  • (Score: 2) by Grishnakh on Thursday March 06 2014, @03:39PM

    by Grishnakh (2831) on Thursday March 06 2014, @03:39PM (#11993)

    If this is the case, then I can breathe a sigh of relief. I'm a loyal Comcast customer (not by choice; it's either them or the even-shittier Verizon), but I have my own equipment.

  • (Score: 2, Interesting) by Taibhsear on Thursday March 06 2014, @09:08PM

    by Taibhsear (1464) on Thursday March 06 2014, @09:08PM (#12212)

    This would explain why they've been trying so hard to get me to rent their new modems (that are 4 times larger in physical dimensions than before) instead of using the one I bought, which "isn't utilizing my full connection".