Cablevision Boosts NYC Wi-Fi To Landline Speeds

Brad Chacos

Ah, it's good to be an on-the-go computer user in the Big Apple. Just last week Mayor Bloomberg and AT&T announced a collaboration to bring free Wi-Fi access to 26 locations across New York's various parks. Now, Cablevision's boosting their "Optimum Wi-Fi" network in order to bring customers cable-modem speeds over the airwaves. "But I'm not a Cablevision subscriber!" you wail, scrunching your face to hold back the tears. No need to cry, chum – Time Warner and Comcast struck a deal with Cablevision about a year ago that lets their subscribers hop on to Optimum Wi-Fi at will.

The announcement coincided with the cable industry's annual "Cable Show" in Chicago. The upgrade means Optimum Wi-Fi users will be able to download at a speedy 15Mbps clip and upload at 4Mbps. That's a huge jump over the network's previous speeds of 3Mbps down and 1.5Mbps up, according to the company's press release . You can still get in on the goodness even if you don't have cable – over 7,000 businesses offer Optimum Wi-Fi hotspots across New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.

So why the boost? To compete with the cellular networks, naturally. The increased proliferation of 3G and 4G access has cable companies worried about the future; offering super-speedy Wi-Fi helps to beat back the 4G network's claims of increased browsing speed.

"With this increase, Optimum WiFi not only blows away 3G and 4G cellular data speeds, it’s three times faster than the average wired residential broadband service across the country,” said Kevin Curran, Cablevision’s senior vice president of wireless product management.

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