Imagine for a moment that you are sitting in your front yard in a lawn chair, sipping lemonade while attempting to read the latest news on your WiFi-only iPad. You’re just out of range of your WiFi signal. Your neighbor’s signal is super strong, but that selfish hooligan didn’t leave it wide open for you to leach onto. Wouldn’t you love to be able to use a portion of his spectrum anyway while away from your own?
Well, you still can’t, however…
A consortium of cable companies (Comcast Corp., Time Warner Cable Inc., Cablevision Systems Corp., Bright House Networks LLC and Cox Communications Inc) have agreed to enable the sharing of subscriber WiFi hotspots at a grand scale, creating a large region of available signal, in select markets in the U.S.
According to the Wall Street Journal, a single hotspot name and sign on scenario will be used to make it easier for consumers to log in and use available spectrum to surf. It will be a perk for paying broadband account holders in the consortium, but certain providers like Time Warner will let you pay as you go if you like.
Unfortunately, I mis-represented the original article as being for consumer hotspots. This is for subscriber hotspots. Big ups to Josh Ferris for pointing out the error in my ways.