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.
Viacom isn't done ruining everyone's good time. Nope, not by a long shot. The content giant has notified Cablevision that their iPad app, which allows streaming live TV to the device, is not acceptable. The app only works in the customer's home, but Viacom still considers this sort of use to be outside the realm of existing content deals.
Customers of Time Warner Cable's Road Runner internet service in New York City have a reason to exult. All of them are now eligible for free Wi-Fi internet access across New York. There are literally thousands of free hotspots scattered all over NYC for them, thanks to a deal between Time Warner and Cablevision, which means that customers of both “will be able to access free, unlimited Wi-Fi services in each other’s New York City metro service areas, allowing for a fast Internet connection at designated Wi-Fi zones.” A valid Road Runner username and password is enough to enjoy free Wi-Fi. Of course, there is a dedicated page to help locate hotspots.
The viewers will first be confronted with a transparent banner at the bottom of their screens asking them to “Click SEL for More.” If a viewer chooses to know more, the ongoing program will be downsized by three-quarters and banished to the top right corner of the screen. The rest of the screen will then be used to display the information requested by the viewer.
"This is all about giving consumers the ability to explore more content, realize more savings and have more fun while creating a deeper and more meaningful viewing experience," Gemma Toner, senior vice president of marketing and business development at Cablevision, said in a press release.
Cablevision Systems, the 5th largest cable provider in the US, has endured a long legal battle against leading American TV programmers and providers, but now that its legal woes have finally ended, the company has the Supreme Court’s sanction to launch its network DVR system.
So here's the deal: You don't want 101Mpbs broadband. And because you don't demand ultra high-speed internet, you're not the least bit impressed with Cablevision's recently announced Optimum Online Ultra, which will offer Long Island, New York residents uncapped 101Mpbs starting May 11 for $99 per month. Heck, if you cared at all about such high speeds, Verizon would have been offering a similar package two years ago, but you just don't.
Don't agree? Tell it to Eric Rabe, senior VP of Media Relations for Verizon, who posted a blog downplaying Cablevision's high-speed announcement. Rabe had some interesting things to say, essentially calling the service a sham.
"With today's technology, you don't have to break much of a sweat to deliver 100Mbps to a few customers," Rabe wrote. "But given the inherent limits of the cable platform, a cluster of bandwidth junkies living near each other could be a real problem. One estimate is that a single 101Mpbs customer would use some 60 perent of the capacity in a neighborhood. Other users? Outta luck."
Rabe went on to ask "How many customers have been storming the castle, asking for 101 megabits per second bandwidth?" Considering the lack of demand and scope, Rabe called Cablevision's announcement a "parlor trick."
And why stop at 100Mpbs? Rabe points out that Verizon's FiOS network has the capacity to deliver 400Mbps to a single home, along with the muscle to carry the load. It also has "plenty of room for more" upstream bandwidth than the 20Mbps it currently offers.
With all the hubbub surrounding bandwidth limits and tiered internet, it would seem that dark days lay ahead for broadband. So excuse us if we refer to Cablevision as a beacon of shining light, as the cable company today became the fastest cable ISP in the US with its Optimum Online Ultra service.
Optimum Online Ultra takes advantage of the multi-channel DOCSIS 3.0 standard, and by doing so, Cablevision is able to woo customers with up to 101Mbps peak downstream and a more than respectable 15Mbps upstream. On paper, that make's Cablevision's service more than twice as fast as Comcast's 50Mbps package, but it's the lack of a bandwidth cap that may ultimately prove to be the biggest draw for consumers.
Long Island, New York residents will get first crack at the new service starting May 11, which will run $99 per month.