If you live in New York City and get your home high-speed Internet from either Time Warner Cable or Cablevision, your access to Wi-Fi hotspots just got a big boost as the two are opening Wi-Fi access for each other’s customers.
High-Speed Internet customers of both Time Warner Cable and Cablevision will be able to access free, unlimited Wi-Fi services in each other’s New York City metro service areas, allowing for a fast Internet connection at designated Wi-Fi zones. Time Warner Cable Road Runner customers will have access to Cablevision’s Optimum Wi-Fi network, and Cablevision’s Optimum Online customers will have access to Time Warner Cable Wi-Fi zones when they travel out of their service area. Time Warner Cable’s New York City service area includes Manhattan, Queens, Staten Island, western Brooklyn, Mt. Vernon, parts of the Hudson Valley region, and Bergen and Hudson Counties in New Jersey. Cablevision’s coverage area includes Long Island, parts of New Jersey and Connecticut, Westchester, Rockland, Northern Hudson Valley, the Bronx, and Brooklyn.
Pretty good value added offering, but I can’t say it enough: Wi-Fi isn’t free if you’re already paying the provider for Internet access. At best, it’s an added feature with no added fee. Give me Wi-Fi access with a cup of coffee, two different things, it’s fair to call that free, but this is like getting “free” access to a new piece of equipment at the gym where you’re a paid member.