updated 10:10 am EDT, Thu March 25, 2010
TWC adds free wireless to NYC cable Internet
Time Warner on Thursday gave Road Runner customers in the New York City area free Wi-Fi as part of their service. Both Cablevision and Time Warner Cable customers attached to the ISP will have access to the service in key public areas. Eight commuter rail platforms, including on Broadway, Flushing and Murray Hill, will give travelers free access across a wide area of the city. Several parks will also receive the same treatment, such as Bryant Park and Madison Square Park in Manhattan and four parks in Queens.
The expansion is particularly helpful for Time Warner-based Road Runner users as they now also get access to Cablevision's existing free Wi-Fi for Optimum Online users, which blankets "thousands" of access points primarily in New York state. Optimum Online users themselves get access to Road Runner hotspots in return.
Free Wi-Fi has become increasingly popular for providers like AT&T and is often seen as a way of both keeping subscribers from jumping to rivals, including 3G, and of reducing the bandwidth use at home. Road Runner doesn't currently meter or cap its cable service but could reduce usage by encouraging notebook and smartphone users to hop online in public areas rather than waiting until they get home.