Time Warner Cable Inc. has lit up a Wi-Fi network in Charlotte, N.C., that's powered by Ruckus Wireless Inc. access points as the MSO gets ready to provide free wireless broadband during the Democratic National Convention.
The build, tying into TW Cable's grander Wi-Fi network strategy, will be opened to all comers when the political to-do gets underway on Sept. 4.
TW Cable subscribers get to use the Wi-Fi network, too. Access is free for those taking TW Cable's standard tier or higher; lower-tier subscribers (and non-customers) would pay fees starting at $2.95 per hour.
The deployment is also subject to a recent Wi-Fi roaming deal involving TW Cable, Comcast Corp., Cablevision Systems Corp., Cox Communications Inc. and Bright House Networks that, they expect, will encompass more than 100,000 hot spots by the end of 2012. The new "Cable WiFi" SSID will be added "in the next couple of months," a TW Cable spokesman said. (See Cable Goes Big With Wi-Fi Roaming .)
TW Cable didn't disclose how many Wi-Fi hot spots it has deployed for the Charlotte rollout, but the wireless deployment and other "uptown improvements" ahead of the convention exceed $2 million. In Charlotte, the current deployment covers areas such as Center City, Southend, Myers Park Dilworth and Midtown.
Why this matters
It marks the next leg of TW Cable's Wi-Fi expansion, and gives the operator a chance to showcase it at a high-profile event.
It's also another cable win for Ruckus, which competes in this market primarily with Ericsson AB and Cisco Systems Inc.. TW Cable has been sharing the wealth, using gear from both Ruckus and Cisco in Los Angeles, its largest Wi-Fi deployment, with about 5,000 hot spots installed so far. (See Ruckus Sticks One on Cisco and Ruckus Gets a Piece of Cable's Wi-Fi Action.)
â€” Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Light Reading Cable