Cablevision Deploys More Hotspots for Commuters

Cablevision Systems today announced completion of the initial phase of its “Optimum Wi-Fi” deployment. Optimum Wi-Fi offers free and unlimited wireless Internet access to Cablevision’s “Optimum Online” high-speed Internet customers.

This spring, Cablevision announced plans to deploy Wi-Fi in the commercial and high-consumer traffic areas across its tri-state service area. The deployment is expected to take two years and will use equipment from BelAir Networks and Cisco Systems.

Today’s announcement indicates that the first phase of the deployment has been completed. Certain high-traffic areas of Nassau County and Suffolk County, as well as the commuter rail platforms and station parking lots across all of Long Island now offer Cablevision-supported Wi-Fi at no extra charge to existing customers.

Also covered are the Bridgeport & Port Jefferson Ferry Line, commercial zones in Sag Harbor, Northport, and Huntington on Long Island; Westport and New Canaan in Connecticut; Peekskill, Pleasantville, and Pelham in Westchester/Hudson Valley; Denville, Ridgewood, and Tenafly in New Jersey; and Parkchester in the Bronx.

“One of the keys to Cablevision’s continued growth and success is ensuring that we are delivering the best and most technologically advanced services to our customers,” said Tom Rutledge, Cablevision’s chief operating officer in a press release today. “We believe free and broadly available Wi-Fi access will become an important and popular enhancement for our Optimum Online customers. Just a few months into our Optimum Wi-Fi deployment, we have already built and activated the nation’s largest and most advanced consumer Wi-Fi network, which will continue to grow and expand, ultimately allowing Optimum customers to bring the superior Internet experience they enjoy at home with them across our entire service area.”

Cablevisions subscribers can access the ever expanding number of Wi-Fi hotspots through a sign-on screen where they must enter a user ID and password.

“Wi-Fi has become the most common form of wireless broadband connectivity in the consumer and mobile worker marketplace in the U.S., especially in major markets like the New York metropolitan area,” said Yankee Group’s Chief Strategy Officer Berge Ayvazian in a Cablevision press release today. “Most of Cablevision’s subscribers already have at least one Wi-Fi-[enabled] laptop or desktop computer, and a rapidly increasing percentage of mobile smartphones have Wi-Fi connectivity, including all Apple iPhones and many RIM BlackBerries. The latest frontier is Wi-Fi connectivity for cameras, media players, and printers. By mid-2009, we will start seeing a new category of ‘mobile Internet devices’ all of which will be Wi-Fi-[enabled].”

Cablevision currently has roughly 2.4 million high-speed Internet subscribers who would be eligible to use the Wi-Fi service. According to Cablevision, more than half of its customers are already using Wi-Fi at home.

Tutorials and detailed coverage maps are available at

 Naomi Graychase is Managing Editor at Wi-Fi

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