News broke today that Comcast, along with Time Warner and three other cable providers, are now creating a national WiFi network that will allow their customers to access online content outside their homes. The plan calls for the creation of 50,000 WiFi hotspots in four eastern states (New York, New Jersey, Delaware, and Pennsylvania) and amounts to a nationwide roaming agreement between the cable giants.
On one hand, this is welcome news, as a nationwide wireless network is something that the consumer has been calling for since the introduction of smartphones and tablet devices. More and more people are using broadband on the road and this proposed network is one way of addressing this need.
On the other hand, this network will be controlled by the same cable companies that get away with charging us too much for cable packages or bundles with features we don’t want or need. It will be interesting to see what the fees for this new service, without many competitors, will look like.