After offering the service for free to its Optimum Online customers in adjoining locations, Cablevision Systems Corp. is interested in being the wireless Internet provider for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority's commuter trains and stations.
The operator has submitted a response to the MTA's "Request for Expression of Interest for Wireless Broadband Services in Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) and Metro-North Railroad Trains and Stations," indicating that its Optimum WiFi service should be considered as the wireless Internet access solution across the railroad system.
Cablevision has already made Optimum WiFi available to its online subscribers in high-traffic and commercial locations like downtown areas, parks and other outdoor locations, including 96% of LIRR and Metro North railroad platforms and parking lots in the operator's service areas.
Since bowing last September, Cablevision's online customers have accessed the Internet more than 4 million times for free over Optimum WiFi, averaging more than two million minutes online every day over the network. Offering downstream speeds of up to 3 megabits-per-second, Optimum WiFi, according to Cablevision, is more than twice as fast as many expensive cell phone data plans that can cost upwards of $100 per month.
Cablevision deployed one of the earliest examples of mobile WiFi on the Bridgeport, Conn. to Port Jefferson, Long Island ferry, with service available during the entire trip across the Long Island Sound and at each terminal.
Cablevision was recently awarded the contract to provide WiFi at Long Island's MacArthur Airport, making the service available to its base, as well as non-Cablevision customers.
"As one of the nation's leading telecommunications providers and a well-established local company that has already made a significant commitment to deploying Optimum WiFi across the New York metropolitan area, Cablevision is uniquely positioned to quickly and seamlessly deliver a high-quality WiFi network across the LIRR and Metro North railroad system," said Cablevision senior vice president of wireless product development Kevin Curran in a statement. "We have delivered a proposal that would provide significant benefits to all parties, and are excited and encouraged by the prospect of providing Optimum WiFi service to the MTA and its ridership. We look forward to participating in a process that will result in the availability of fast and reliable WiFi service on the railroads."