US MSOs Near 10 Million Hotspots

With Comcast and Cablevision leading the way, US cable operators are quickly closing in on 10 million WiFi hotspots by the end of the year.

Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, Light Reading

September 24, 2014

2 Min Read
US MSOs Near 10 Million Hotspots

DENVER -- With cable operators rapidly rolling out WiFi throughout the world, US MSOs stand poised to reach a major deployment milestone by the beginning of next year.

In a fresh forecast presented at a Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers (SCTE) breakfast hosted here by Light Reading Tuesday, Heavy Reading predicted that US cable operators will roll out 10 million WiFi hotspots by early 2015, a huge jump from a mere 250,000 at the close of 2013. Heavy Reading also projected that this number will continue to soar over the next few years as cable operators blanket their regions with both public and private access points. (See TWC Not Ready for Community WiFi.)

Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) and Cablevision Systems Corp. (NYSE: CVC) lead the way today with 4.6 million and 1 million hotspots deployed, respectively, due largely to their focus on community WiFi, or home hotspots. Using dual-signal wireless gateways that create a second, matching public hotspot in each broadband subscriber's home or office, these two MSOs should account for more than 9 million hotspots combined by the end of this year.

Get the latest updates on cable's WiFi push by visiting Light Reading's cable WiFi content channel.

But Comcast and Cablevision are not alone. Other large US MSOs, such as Time Warner Cable Inc. (NYSE: TWC), Cox Communications Inc. , Charter Communications Inc. and Bright House Networks , are now scrambling to catch up. Heavy Reading estimates that these four cable companies will account for more than a collective 100,000 hotspots by the end of the year.

Despite the reluctance of MSOs like TW Cable to follow the example of Comcast and Cablevision right now, Heavy Reading predicts that other US cable operators will fall in line over the next couple of years shortly and start deploying community WiFi in their territories as well. As a result, the Light Reading research division sees US cable WiFi hotspots doubling to 20 million by the end of 2015 and jumping again to 35 million by the close of 2016 and 50 million by the close of 2017. By then, Heavy Reading figures, nearly every broadband home and office in the nation will be outfitted with a powerful, dual-signal wireless gateway.

— Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, Light Reading

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About the Author(s)

Alan Breznick

Cable/Video Practice Leader, Light Reading

Alan Breznick is a business editor and research analyst who has tracked the cable, broadband and video markets like an over-bred bloodhound for more than 20 years.

As a senior analyst at Light Reading's research arm, Heavy Reading, for six years, Alan authored numerous reports, columns, white papers and case studies, moderated dozens of webinars, and organized and hosted more than 15 -- count 'em --regional conferences on cable, broadband and IPTV technology topics. And all this while maintaining a summer job as an ostrich wrangler.

Before that, he was the founding editor of Light Reading Cable, transforming a monthly newsletter into a daily website. Prior to joining Light Reading, Alan was a broadband analyst for Kinetic Strategies and a contributing analyst for One Touch Intelligence.

He is based in the Toronto area, though is New York born and bred. Just ask, and he will take you on a power-walking tour of Manhattan, pointing out the tourist hotspots and the places that make up his personal timeline: The bench where he smoked his first pipe; the alley where he won his first fist fight. That kind of thing.

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