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iPad's Buddy: Cablevision?

Jeff Baumgartner

5:00 PM -- The emergence of the Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) iPad today is already raising big questions about what sort of hurt the tablet-computer-thingamajig will put on AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T)'s already-stressed 3G network. (See Scenes From the Apple iPad Launch and Will the Apple iPad Crush 3G Networks?)

But the iPad's embedded WiFi capabilities do offer sweet justification to Cablevision Systems Corp. (NYSE: CVC) and its decision to invest in the wireless technology and launch the resulting Optimum WiFi service, which covers parts of New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut.

Not to say that Cablevision thinks it will have plenty of WiFi capacity to handle a surge of traffic originating from legions of iPads, or anything, but during the big Apple event today, MSO spokesman Jim Maiella gladly Tweeted a link to the Optimum WiFi coverage map, calling it an "iPad Friendly Zone, in honor of Luke Wilson."

Cablevision, by the way, said average weekly sessions on the Optimum WiFi network have nearly doubled -- from 200,000 to 400,000 -- since it introduced an auto sign-in enhancement late last year. (See Cablevision WiFi Adds Auto Sign-In.)

— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Cable Digital News

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