Cablevision Cranks Up Wi-Fi Speed

Cableco revs the speed of its Optimum Wi-Fi network in NYC to 15 Mbit/s downstream and 4 Mbit/s upstream, bringing it on par with 4G

Sarah Thomas, Director, Women in Comms

June 14, 2011

2 Min Read
Cablevision Cranks Up Wi-Fi Speed

CHICAGO -- The Cable Show -- Cablevision Systems Corp. (NYSE: CVC) will raise its Optimum Wi-Fi network from speeds of up to 3 Mbit/s downstream and 1.5 Mbit/s upstream to 15 down and 4 up.

The zippier speeds bring Optimum on par with Cablevision's entry-level wired broadband service and bests the speeds that most 4G networks are promising today, with the exception of Cablevision cable competitor Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ)'s Long Term Evolution (LTE) network, which beats it on upload speeds. (See AT&T's LTE Tests: The Lab Is Not the Real World.)

According to Kevin Curran, SVP of wireless product development at Cablevision, the MSO instituted the service in 2007 as a way to compete against services like Verizon FiOS and to retain customers. The company has invested $300 million, first in outdoor access points and now adding 7,000 indoor hotspots.

"The message is simple: It's free, it's fast and it's exclusive to Optimum Online customers," Curran said here in a panel session.

Cablevision has 500,000 Optimum Online high-speed Internet customers who get access to the popular Wi-Fi service, spanning tens of thousands of outdoor access points in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. The company is also completing RFPs for the MTA and NJ Transit to bring Wi-Fi to commuter trains and stations.

Cablevision's Wi-Fi Coverage Map

Why this matters
Cablevision has been one of the most aggressive cable MSOs when it comes to Wi-Fi offload and the faster speed keeps that pace going. The MSO has roaming agreements with Time Warner Cable Inc. (NYSE: TWC) and Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK), so their customers will benefit from the speed uptick as well.

Having speeds that are comparable to wireless operators' 4G cellular networks will also help the cable MSOs retain customers who might otherwise look toward cord cutting in favor of 4G technologies for broadband on-the-go.

For more
Cablevision is fighting against its cable competitors and the wireless operators that have speedy 4G networks coupled with Wi-Fi. Read up on the MSO's moves in Wi-Fi below.

  • BelAir Updates Cable Wi-Fi System

  • Moto Goes Outside for Cable Wi-Fi Help

  • MSO WiFi: Roam (If You Want To)

  • Cablevision Plays WiFi Card

— Sarah Reedy, Senior Reporter, Light Reading Mobile

About the Author(s)

Sarah Thomas

Director, Women in Comms

Sarah Thomas's love affair with communications began in 2003 when she bought her first cellphone, a pink RAZR, which she duly "bedazzled" with the help of superglue and her dad.

She joined the editorial staff at Light Reading in 2010 and has been covering mobile technologies ever since. Sarah got her start covering telecom in 2007 at Telephony, later Connected Planet, may it rest in peace. Her non-telecom work experience includes a brief foray into public relations at Fleishman-Hillard (her cussin' upset the clients) and a hodge-podge of internships, including spells at Ingram's (Kansas City's business magazine), American Spa magazine (where she was Chief Hot-Tub Correspondent), and the tweens' quiz bible, QuizFest, in NYC.

As Editorial Operations Director, a role she took on in January 2015, Sarah is responsible for the day-to-day management of the non-news content elements on Light Reading.

Sarah received her Bachelor's in Journalism from the University of Missouri-Columbia. She lives in Chicago with her 3DTV, her iPad and a drawer full of smartphone cords.

Away from the world of telecom journalism, Sarah likes to dabble in monster truck racing, becoming part of Team Bigfoot in 2009.

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