Comcast has a brand new feature for its Internet subscribers called Xfinity Wi-Fi, but it’s going about it the wrong way, likely making even more enemies in the process. SeattlePi reports that Comcast is turning some of the Wi-Fi routers placed in the homes of subscribers into a “massive public Wi-Fi hotspot network,” but it’s doing so without giving customers the opportunity to opt out before the service is rolled out.
In theory, Xfinity Wi-Fi sounds like a neat idea, as it can provide free Internet access to other Xfinity subscribers as long as they’re within reach of such an Xfinity Wi-Fi hotspot. Moreover, the extra load on the router does not affect the bandwidth of the customer who houses it, as the device creates two independent networks, one private, and one public, using additional bandwidth for the public one.
As such, any users on the public Xfinity Wi-Fi network will not slow down customers’ connections, according to the company.
Comcast apparently informed its subscribers about the move in the mail a few weeks ago, and then email notifications go out after the service is turned on for each user. The company on Tuesday turned 50,000 Comcast Internet customers into public Wi-Fi providers in Houston, with 100,000 more hotspots to be activated by the end of June.
Users only have the opportunity to disable the service after it’s activated. A Comcast FAQ section further details Xfinity Wi-Fi, while the following guide, as listed by SeattlePi, should help Comcast customers disable the new Xfinity Wi-Fi hotspot feature:
- Log into your Comcast account page at customer.comcast.com.
- Click on Users & Preferences.
- Look for a heading on the page for “Service Address.” Below your address, click the link that reads “Manage Xfinity WiFi.”
- Click the button for “Disable Xfinity Wifi Home Hotspot.”
- Click Save