Even though most of the wireless action is out at CTIA this week, there is a presence at The Cable Show as well. From the live WiMAX network (I scored a loaner USB dongle in the Motorola booth) to the Clearwire van driving through Broadband Nation, cable wants to make it clear that it’s not taking its eye off the wireless business. Other than the odd comment from Suddenlink in a general session yesterday, most of the cable operators are heavily promoting their wireless activities.
Which takes us to this morning. Cablevision issued a press release stating that customers have accessed the operator’s free Wi-Fi services (for home broadband subscribers) more than a million times in the program’s short life span. One of the subheads from the release: “Company Surpasses a Million Mobile Internet Connections as Optimum Online Customers Take Advantage of the Convenience of Free Wireless Web Access that is Reliable and Faster than Costly Cell Phone Data Plans.” (emphasis my own)
The language is a bit over the top, but Cablevision does have a point about the insane prices for mobile broadband data packages in 3G America. I pay big money for broadband at home, and I have to spend $60 a month to access broadband on the go too? I’ve always had a problem with that. Both on principle and from the standpoint of my pocketbook. It’s part of why I’m excited by the potential business model change that WiMAX represents.
In any case, if I traveled the New Jersey transit lines more often, I’d be one of the thousands of new users accessing free Wi-Fi every week too. As it stands, the local Wi-Fi coffee shop gets plenty of my business. Maybe cable should do a deal with them.