Google Fiber is hardly the only threat to ISP mainstays like Comcast and Time Warner Cable these days. There are three times as many wireless accounts as there are cable broadband accounts in the United States, and wireless growth is seen continuing at a much more rapid pace than land-based broadband growth. What’s more, usage patterns are continuing to shift toward mobile devices and away from traditional computers.
The nation’s top cable companies have spent quite a bit of money of late building out large Wi-Fi networks across the country, and they have spent even more money marketing their networks of Wi-Fi hotspots. Some ISPs are even launching their own Wi-Fi only mobile phone services. Why? Because mobile is the battleground of the future and ISPs need to do everything they can to keep customers connected while they’re on the go.
But a new technology is emerging that may threaten to weaken the quality of ISPs’ Wi-Fi networks while strengthening their competitors’ cellular services, and Big Cable has no plans to take things lying down. More →