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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: 3, Insightful) by TheGratefulNet on Thursday March 06 2014, @02:07AM

    by TheGratefulNet (659) on Thursday March 06 2014, @02:07AM (#11656)

    don't use THEIR routers! uhm, DUH!

    I have comcast and I certainly did NOT buy their modem/router. its interoperable and with docsis standards, there is zero reason to rent a router from 'bad guys' (ie, comcast).

    my router is wire-in and wire-out, so even if they tried to turn my wifi on, nothing would happen ;)

    this sounds like punishing stupid users for being stupid. I have a hard time feeling sorry for someone who rents a home router these days.

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  • (Score: 2) by gishzida on Thursday March 06 2014, @02:38AM

    by gishzida (2870) on Thursday March 06 2014, @02:38AM (#11666) Journal
    Another possibility is to maybe give their modem / router a grounded tin foil hat to kill their wifi signal... and use a separate router a/p for your own....

    It is also disingenuous for Comcast to say the "freeloading" won't impact bandwidth. Network connections on cable are aggregated into one amount of bandwidth... for an value of "n" users the available bandwidth to one user is 1/n... If the network originally had ten users a single user gets 1/10th of the bandwidth. When n=20 you get 1/20th... adding more users divides the available bandwidth into smaller and smaller chunks and everything slows to a crawl.
  • (Score: 2) by zim on Thursday March 06 2014, @08:26AM

    by zim (1251) on Thursday March 06 2014, @08:26AM (#11834)
    Next up!

    Comcast changes their cable system to use a proprietary version of docsis that only works with comcast modems.

    Bet.

    It'll be after they get ahold of time warner. They can say since they are THE cable company. The one and only. It's only right they have THE cable modem.

    And they'll get away with it too.
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 06 2014, @02:55PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 06 2014, @02:55PM (#11964)

      Agree 100% . Options for Americans to get online is getting harder and harder. :( We have only 2 options now where we live: we had 5 options 3 years ago. Soon we will have one option once Comcast gets approval by the government to become too big to fail. :( We will be forced to support evil businesses even more so than we are now (I do not see living with 0 access to one of the greatest inventions ever as a reasonable option). My personal modem will soon be outlawed on Comcast's network. :(

    • (Score: 2) by Grishnakh on Thursday March 06 2014, @04:15PM

      by Grishnakh (2831) on Thursday March 06 2014, @04:15PM (#12018)

      They won't be the only cableco even after the TWC acquisition: there's still Cox Cable.

  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 06 2014, @02:50PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 06 2014, @02:50PM (#11959)

    this sounds like punishing stupid users for being stupid. I have a hard time feeling sorry for someone who rents a home router these days.

    My, things must be nice up in your ivory tower, looking down on all these stupid people. It is our job as technologists to help people, not belittle them. I guarantee you are "stupid" in many areas, and you will never become more educated in those areas if other experts took the same stance you do.