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Cablevision to Expand Optimum Wi-Fi

in Mobile Broadband/Wireless by

WASHINGTON, June 4, 2010 - With the expansion of mobile broadband devices and the increased speeds at which wireless options provide consumers, many economists feel that soon many users will simply opt to purchase mobile broadband as a substitute to traditional fixed wireline connections.

New York based ISP Cablevision has announced that it will seek permission from New York’s metropolitan transit authority to expand its Optimum Wifi network to include Long Island Railroad and metro north.

The network is one of the most widely used mobile broadband services in the New York metro region with over 3 million customers accessing the service monthly. It offers speeds of 3 megabits per second down and 1.5 mbps up and is much faster than the current 3G services offered by competitors.  Cablevision would fund the expansion. These new service areas would expand the ISP's transportation Wi-Fi network, which already includes most New Jersey transit stations, Long Island MacArthur airport and 200 other MTA rail platforms.

The service would be free to Optimum Online customers, its high speed broadband offer, and available to non customers for a fee. They would also build a separate private network for the sole use of the MTA.

“Access to the Internet on MTA trains will transform the riding experience, and we believe Cablevision is uniquely positioned to deliver this enhancement through the extension of Optimum Wi-Fi – already the nation’s largest and most advanced WiFi network – onto the rails,” said John Bickham, Cablevision’s president of cable and communications. “As a New York-based company already providing popular Wi-Fi access at nearly 200 MTA commuter rail stations we propose to deploy wireless Internet access across the entire MTA system within 12 months of selection, at no cost to the Transportation Authority or taxpayers.”

Rahul Gaitonde has been writing for since the fall of 2009, and in May of 2010 he became Deputy Editor. He was a fellow at George Mason University’s Long Term Governance Project, a researcher at the International Center for Applied Studies in Information Technology and worked at the National Telecommunications and Information Administration. He holds a Masters of Public Policy from George Mason University, where his research focused on the economic and social benefits of broadband expansion. He has written extensively about Universal Service Fund reform, the Broadband Technology Opportunities Program and the Broadband Data Improvement Act


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