Business

Comcast's national Wi-Fi network requires home routers

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As if Comcast didn’t already have enough people mad at it, today the company confirmed plans to roll out a nationwide Wi-Fi network by using the wireless routers rented by its residential customers in San Francisco.

By using all of these home wireless routers, Comcast hopes to create about 8 million hotspots across nearly half the country. The problem is, not every customer is happy about it, because it raises security and privacy concerns and allows a giant company to use both the service and equipment that you’re paying for.

The move is sort of the equivalent of that rich kid you knew from college who would blow a month’s worth of money from his wealthy parents within a few days, then spend the rest of the month mooching off everyone else. Meaning, Comcast should probably just spend its own money to create this network of hotspots rather than mooch off its customers.

Comcast has already launched its hotspot program in other cities such as Houston and Seattle. And in these cities, the company said less than one percent of its customers opt out of the program. Although perhaps customers weren’t aware that they could opt out?

The cable provider’s logic is that launching these public Wi-Fi hotspots will give Comcast customers access to the Internet even when they aren’t at home. For instance, someone visiting a friend in an apartment complex might be able to get online even if that friend doesn’t subscribe to an Internet plan. (That is, provided there is at least one Comcast subscriber in close proximity.)

More specifically, those who subscribe to a premium Internet plan will get free access to Comcast’s public Wi-Fi hotspots. Those with less costly Internet service plans will get two free hour-long sessions per month but will have the option of paying a fee to use the hotspots for a set amount of time.

Comcast said it expects to roll out its hotspot program in San Francisco in the near future. Of course, you could opt out of the program or, alternately, purchase your own Wi-Fi router.

Via SF Gate

More information:

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