Video services

Cablevision-Linked ISP Hawks Wireless Data

A new ISP affiliated with Cablevision Systems Corp. (NYSE: CVC) is promoting a new, but quite isolated, fixed wireless service in south Florida by leasing out the broadband-connected Apple TV box for US$5 per month.

The promotion, first brought to light by FierceCable, is for OMGFAST!, a wireless broadband service with downstream speeds of up to 50 Mbit/s for $29.95 per month.

The service, launched earlier this year in Florida's Broward and Palm Beach counties, also features a business-class tier with a two-line voice option. That runs $59.95 per month and requires a digital-to-analog adapter. According to its FAQ, OMGFAST! does not cap usage or place any sort of bandwidth restriction on the service.

OMGFAST! runs on Multichannel Video Distribution and Data Service (MVDDS) spectrum, which relies on equipment installed on cell towers and is capable of delivering Internet or TV services. It can also be used for cellular backhaul. Cablevision acquired MVDDS licenses covering 45 markets for $84.6 million in 2004 via a Federal Communications Commission (FCC) auction, according to FierceCable. The FCC notes that each MVDDS licensee received one spectrum block of 500MHz, which can be partitioned into channels, per geographic area.

OMGFAST! has some potentially explosive implications, as it could give Cablevision a way to deliver wireless broadband services outside its traditional cable footprint. However, Cablevision has no plans to expand OMGFAST! beyond its isolated deployment in Florida. A Cablevision spokeswoman stressed that the current work is little more than a small test to help Cablevision learn more about how MVDDS technology works and how well the spectrum performs when used for wireless broadband.

"OMGFAST! is a developmental project offering high-speed wireless broadband service in Florida's Broward and Palm Beach counties. We currently have no expansion plans and any future plans would be informed by the business results," the spokeswoman said via email.

Cablevision is also a key partner in a new Wi-Fi roaming deal with Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK), Time Warner Cable Inc. (NYSE: TWC), Cox Communications Inc. and Bright House Networks . But it's notably not involved in the service bundling partnerships between Verizon Wireless and four major U.S. cable operators. (See Cable Goes Big With Wi-Fi Roaming , Verizon Wireless's Spectrum Deals Sail Through and Comcast, Verizon & TWC Bundle Up.)

— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Light Reading Cable

Pete Baldwin 12/5/2012 | 5:21:48 PM
re: Cablevision-Linked ISP Hawks Wireless Data

Assumedly, you can order OMGFAST! online. Because if they made people call on the telephone and order the service by name, I don't think anybody would actually do it.

AESerm 12/5/2012 | 5:21:45 PM
re: Cablevision-Linked ISP Hawks Wireless Data

Maybe teen-aged girls? Or I guess they'd be texting, rather than phoning, in the order.

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