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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: 1) by captain normal on Thursday March 06 2014, @06:21AM

    by captain normal (2205) on Thursday March 06 2014, @06:21AM (#11787)

    Well there is the "2 free hours per month. Not much for a power user. Sure couldn't spend much time on SN or something like sailonline.org. But if you run a POP email client, you could send and receive a lot of messages in a couple of minutes.
    But the $2.95 per hour or $19.95 per week! For that 3 bucks and a tip you could spend a morning or an afternoon at Starbucks or MickeyD's or most any coffee shop in the free world...plus get a cup of coffee. And why layout $19.95 a week for access. I have a 4G hotspot that I pay $35 for 30 days of pretty fast internet when I travel or am staying on the boat. That is access anywhere there is a cell tower which covers a lot more territory than Cable. Plus I only pay when I need it.
    Comcast is not offering a good deal. Of course that seems to be their business plan from the get-go.

    --
    “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” Thomas Edison
  • (Score: 2, Insightful) by tftp on Thursday March 06 2014, @07:49AM

    by tftp (806) on Thursday March 06 2014, @07:49AM (#11825) Homepage

    Comcast is not offering a good deal.

    It's a great deal... for Comcast. They sold you the bandwidth; now they are selling it again, to someone else, and you are acting as a reseller, for free. Comcast needs no investment, outside of the already scheduled replacement of routers. It's free money! Imagine that you sold a bike to your friend, and then you charge a fee if someone wants to borrow that bike when your friend isn't using it!

    • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 06 2014, @02:47PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 06 2014, @02:47PM (#11957)

      Imagine that you sold a bike to your friend, and then you charge a fee if someone wants to borrow that bike when your friend isn't using it!

      You mean:

      Imagine that you sold a bike to your friend, and then you charge a fee if someone wants to borrow that bike when your friend is STILL using it!

      The wire leading from the customer's house to the box outside does not magically get bigger: your home's bandwidth will shrink if more people are using it, regardless of how they hopped on your network. It's still one pipe, even if evil Comcast is allowing strangers to use it now.