Time Warner Cable Business Class said it will offer its TWC WiFi Hotspot solution at no additional charge to commercial Internet customers across the MSO’s footprint.
The feature, which includes a free WiFi access point installed and managed by the operator and a self-service management portal that lets business owners configure the service, will enable those customers to offer their customers WiFi access on devices such as smart phones, tablets and laptops.
The configuration portal allows business customers to provide free access to customers and visitors or set daily time allotments for free access, ranging from 15 minutes to 60 minutes. Those same access points are also accessible to credentialed TWC broadband subs.
Comcast Business rolled out a similar initiative today, offering Cisco Systems-made dual-band gateways that support a business’s private and secure day-to-day needs alongside a separate, public-facing SSID signal for customers and other visitors to the commercial venue.
TWCBC recently commissioned a survey of business owners finding that 80 percent believe their customers expect free WiFi, while also ranking free WiFi as a top way to attract new customers, though only 43 percent of businesses offer it.
“Consumers have come to expect connectivity everywhere, and a WiFi Hotspot gives them a simple, free way to use their tablet or smart phone while waiting for a doctor’s appointment or having lunch, without having to use up their cellular data plan – a big bonus for users on expensive, capped data plans,” said Maureen Link group VP, marketing, small business for TWCBC.
The launch of TWCBC WiFi complements the MSO’s overarching WiFi network of more than 35,000 hotspots in Los Angeles, New York City, Austin, Charlotte, Myrtle Beach, Kansas City and Hawaii.
Also on Tuesday, TWC announced a bilateral roaming deal with Boingo that gives its high-speed Internet access to more than 100 “premium” Boingo WiFi locations in about two dozen airports, several NYC-area subway stations, and other venues.