I have, in previous Gearhead articles (first in Comcast's latest bad idea turns your Wi-Fi into everybody's Wi-Fi and then in Revisiting Comcast's Xfinity public hotspot strategy), discussed Comcast's strategy for implementing opt-out Wi-Fi hotspots on their customers' Xfinity gateways. In the latter post I questioned the security of the service and noted that access to the Comcast service isn't as tightly controlled as the company might think.
Just when I thought that was that for critiquing the service along comes a blog post from Speedify that identifies another consequence of the opt-out Wi-Fi hotspot service:
Despite [Comcast's] claims that these routers cost subscribers nothing extra, we actually measured the power consumption on the router they sent us and were surprised by the results.
Based on our tests, we expect that by the time they roll it out to all of their subscribers, Comcast will be pushing tens of millions of dollars per month of the electricity bills needed to run their nationwide public WiFi network onto consumers.
Speedify figures the cost to Comcast subscribers will be around "$22.80 per year for those of us here in Philadelphia, or $1.90 per month."
Now, $1.90 per month may not sound like much but it's $1.90 that consumers don't need to spend and -- rather more importantly when you consider that Comcast expects to have some 8 million customers supporting the service by year end -- it will mean that, in effect, consumers will be pushing around $8,000,000 per month straight to Comcast's bottom line.
Do you think this is defensible in any way? Should Comcast, as Speedify suggests, compensate users by bumping them up a service tier?
This story, "And there's something else wrong with Comcast's Xfinity customer-based Wi-Fi hotspot plan ..." was originally published by Network World.