Comcast Corporation (NASDAQ:CMCSA) has turned 50,000 home routers in Houston into public WiFi hotspots this week. This is the first stage in Comcast’s plan to launch hotspots across the country.
Customers that have newer wireless routers will host a WiFi network called ?xfinitywifi.? Other Comcast subscribers can join that network at no cost, according to the Houston Chronicle.
Comcast will reach 8 million hotspots by the end of 2014, covering over half of the major cities in the U.S. This will let Comcast compete against companies like AT&T, which offers WiFi hotspots at Starbucks and McDonald?s.
Customers can opt out of the initiative, but more than 99% chose to enable their hotspots. This will improve Xfinity Wi-Fi accessibility among Comcast users and help cut cellular data costs. In the past year, the number of out-of-home Xfinity WiFi sessions has increased by 700% so this service could be very useful to subscribers.