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Comcast Is Turning Homes Into Public Wi-Fi Hotspots

Comcast Is Turning Homes Into Public Wi-Fi Hotspots
Illustration by 731; Photo: Getty Images

Comcast and its cable partners have revealed that the company already has the largest Wi-Fi hotspot in the U.S., but the cable provider has plans to make that Wi-Fi network far bigger.

On Monday, at the National Cable and Telecommunications Association conference in Washington, Comcast said it has begun shipping residential broadband customers a new version of its wireless gateway that pulls double duty as a private Wi-Fi router and a public hotspot. Basically the Cisco Systems gateway transmits two signals—both with separate SSIDs—each functioning as a separate network. The family that owns or rents the router can access the first network; the second is open to any Comcast broadband customer.