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Yet another major ISP is using your cable modem to offer free WiFi hotspots

Published May 12th, 2014 2:06PM EDT
Cablevision Optimum Modem WiFi Hotspots

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Several Internet Service Providers in the United States use subscribers’ cable modems to broadcast free WiFi hotspots to other customers in the area. While notes about this practice are always buried somewhere in terms and conditions or other notices, subscribers are often unaware of this practice. And as might be expected, they’re often taken aback when they learn for the first time that their Internet connections are being used to provide strangers with free WiFi.

Earlier this year, Comcast subscribers in Minnesota were surprised to learn that their modems were broadcasting free WiFi to anyone and everyone nearby who might be a Comcast customer. While ISPs claim these free WiFi networks are secure and completely separate from consumers’ home Internet service, the continued threat from hackers who find new ways to steal our data is a concern that might still weighs heavy.

Now, customers are being reminded once again that Cablevision will also use its customers’ home Internet modems to broadcast free WiFi hotspots.

As reported by LightReading, Cablevision confirmed during its recent earnings call that it is upgrading its Optimum Online modems in order to add free WiFi hotspot functionality. Once the upgrades are complete, Cablevision says it will offer more than 1 million WiFi hotspots across the country.

It should be noted that Optimum Online subscribers will have the ability to disable the free public hotspot feature on their modems.

Zach Epstein
Zach Epstein Executive Editor

Zach Epstein has been the Executive Editor at BGR for more than 10 years. He manages BGR’s editorial team and ensures that best practices are adhered to. He also oversees the Ecommerce team and directs the daily flow of all content. Zach first joined BGR in 2007 as a Staff Writer covering business, technology, and entertainment.

His work has been quoted by countless top news organizations, and he was recently named one of the world's top 10 “power mobile influencers” by Forbes. Prior to BGR, Zach worked as an executive in marketing and business development with two private telcos.


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