Why Comcast may get out of Wi-Fi business
Posted On July 28, 2021
Comcast has been testing a new Wi-fi technology that could allow it to deliver content and Wi-fares from any Wi-hub in the house to a TV set in seconds.
But Comcast’s CEO, Brian Roberts, says the technology is not ready for prime time yet.
And there are no signs of it yet, at least.
What we have here is a very preliminary test of a new technology.
It’s called ‘Wi-Fi Link’ and we’re doing this to test and evaluate our business model.
It will be the first time that we are delivering video and content to the home from anywhere, and to do so in real time and without having to do anything on our network.
Roberts said the technology was not ready to launch on the network until next year.
However, he did note that the Wi-link could be used for Wi-fare, and he’s working on getting it ready to use for Wi‑Fi Link.
“It’s a very promising technology, and we want to get it up and running as soon as possible.
We’re excited to see how well it’s done,” Roberts said.
The Wi-Link is a Wi-connected connection that connects to a router, so the router can be used to remotely activate the Wi‑Link.
The router then automatically connects the WiLink to the router’s Wi-Faces, which then act as a Wi‑fi hotspot.
This is the WiFi network that Comcast says will deliver its content to your home in the form of TV channels, streaming video, and streaming music.
It’s an interesting idea that has been around for years, and it was first seen in Comcast’s 2013 acquisition of Time Warner Cable.
It would have enabled the company to deliver the same kind of streaming video and music to homes in the U.S. with no change in service.
That deal was announced just before the Great Recession hit and Comcast had to deal with its cable-industry partners trying to stop the merger.
Comcast’s move to acquire Time Warner came after the merger was announced and Roberts said it would allow the company’s network to become the next generation of the Wi‐Fi network.
“This is the next evolution of Wi‑Faced TV and Internet services,” Roberts told analysts in a conference call.
It was Comcast’s first move to buy a TV provider after the 2013 merger, but the deal was also controversial.
The deal was criticized by net neutrality advocates and other net neutrality supporters for allowing Comcast to own more than a small amount of the TV channels and broadband internet services that it could now charge for.
What’s the big deal with Wi-FI?
It has a lot of advantages.
It allows for a much more seamless experience than a Wi‐Link, allowing you to watch shows on your television without having the hassle of having to manually connect to a Wi–Fi network, Roberts said, adding that Comcast plans to bring Wi-Links to homes and businesses in the future.
If Comcast can bring Wi‑links to homes, Roberts added, that would enable Comcast to deliver Wi‑fares that would be even faster and more reliable than Wi-cable.
“I think this is the first step towards making that Wi-Cable, Wi-Wifi network available for use by home users,” Roberts added.
In the meantime, Comcast may have to wait a bit longer before we get a glimpse of Wi‐fi Link in action.
Comcast has not said when the technology will be ready to roll out.
The company is not announcing when it will introduce its own Wi‑link technology, which could lead to a significant price drop in the coming years.