Business

Comcast’s national Wi-Fi network requires home routers

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:

Comcast brings together the best in media and technology. We drive innovation to create the world’s best entertainment and online experiences. Comcast Corporation (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) is a global media and technology company with ... read more »

Powered by VBProfiles


VentureBeat is studying mobile marketing automation. Chime in, and we’ll share the data.
7 comments
Victor Evans
Victor Evans

you can already opt out by visiting your comcast account https://customer.comcast.com/Secure/UserSettings/ 

then look under service address and choose manage my xfinity wifi. the route is to call techsupport and request it be turned off since the wifi-modem software doesn't have an "off wifi switch." really only takes 2 minutes. 

Matt McLaughlin
Matt McLaughlin

Modem's, they mean modems. If you rent a cable modem from Comcast then you're open to intrusion. If you have your own router you're fine.

Mir Ahsan
Mir Ahsan

But they can't get the connections to be consistent, and forcing customers to use their limited Wifi boxes. SMH!

Matt McLaughlin
Matt McLaughlin

By router, you mean cable modem. If you rent your cable modem from Comcast they have access to it. If you own your own wifi router (which connects to your cable modem) Comcast can not access that. If you own your own cable modem and router, you're set. 

Dave Meeker
Dave Meeker

Nobody mentions that 1) you don't need to use their wifi, and instead use it in bridge mode and 2) they segment the access so you aren't "sharing" your service, you still have your own dedicated line. But that would require research instead of reading and article and paraphrasing.

Jason Alt
Jason Alt

Simple, do not use their rented access point routers.