National Wireless Internet Service: The future ad account

Steve’s breakdown: It’s not a matter of if but when we will all be able to connect to the internet from everywhere USA. It will be a major coup for whomever gets it so you might as well get started on that now.

EVERYWHERE, USA: Five of the nation’s largest cable companies — Comcast Corp., Bright House Networks, Cablevision, Cox Communications and Time Warner Cable — are creating a national WiFi network that enables cable-TV subscribers to stream data or access the Internet through smart phones, tablets or laptop computers, the companies said Monday.

The initial network will consist of 50,000 WiFi hotspots, with many of the hotspots now live in Pennsylvania, New York, Delaware and New Jersey.

The interconnected WiFi network is the latest attempt by the cable companies to find a solution to what many perceive as a vexing weakness — the lack of a national wireless service as people increasingly seek to connect to the Internet outside of their home. The plan was announced at the annual cable industry show in Boston.

In late 2011, several cable companies sold wireless spectrum that was to be used for a national wireless network to Verizon Wireless. The cable companies said at the time that operating and building-out their own national wireless network would be too expensive. Some estimates put the cost at $10 billion.

The WiFi plan allows each cable company to individually add WiFi hotspots.

Cathy Avgiris, Comcast executive vice president, said the new plan allows cable-TV subscribers to roam on the hotspots operated by other cable companies — for instance, a Comcast Xfinity subscriber can access a Time Warner Cable hotspot in New York or Los Angeles.

The deal amounts to a “nationwide roaming agreement between cable companies,” Avgiris said. The network also will help cable-TV subscribers manage their data usage on smart phone plans, she said.

Outside of a cable company’s footprint the WiFi hotspot to access will appear as CableWiFi, which is how the service will be marketed. Cable-TV subscribers will have to authenticate themselves on CableWiFi using credentials.

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