MSOs Eye More Wi-Fi

Comcast Launches in Atlanta; Shaw Sets Edmonton Expansion

The Wi-Fi train keeps chugging along at Comcast and Canadian cable MSO Shaw Communications.

Following a recent deployment in Chicago, Comcast has begun to deploy a Wi-Fi network in Atlanta that will provide free access to Comcast cable modem subscribers and consumers who get broadband from “CableWiFi” roaming partners Cablevision Systems, Bright House Networks, Cox Communications and  Time Warner Cable.

Comcast announced it has already deployed “hundreds” of hotspots in metro Atlanta, hitting spots such as Piedmont Park and Chastain Park, and the campuses of Georgia Tech, Emory, Georgia State and the Atlanta University Center. The MSO told The Atlanta Journal-Constitutionthat it has already deployed more than 350 hotspots in Atlanta. 

When factoring in the 1,000-plus hotspots installed in in Chicago, Comcast has deployed more than 56,350 Wi-Fi access points across a network that also includes installations in New Jersey, California, Philadelphia and Boston, according to company data compiled by Multichannel News.

The Atlanta additions are coming online as Comcast kicks off a summer customer acquisition campaign that will provide free access to non-customers through July 4. Afterward, non-subs can get access to two complimentary 60-mintue sessions per month. Comcast also sells access ($2.95 for an hour, $7.95 per day, or $19.95 for a weekly pass).

Meanwhile, Shaw Communications said it has inked a proposal to expand its Wi-Fi-powered Shaw Go network in Edmonton in high foot traffic areas and public gathering spots, such as light rail transit stations and libraries, over a two year period. Shaw has Wi-Fi deployed in several markets, including Vancouver, Calgary, and Winnipeg.