Category Archives: telecom

Comcast expands its mobile reach.

Comcast is now turning the WiFi routers it rents to cable Internet customers into neighborhood hotspots.

Comcast is transforming its customers’ home modems into public Wi-Fi hotspots by adding a second signal to each device. In addition to a customer’s home Wi-Fi connection, Xfinity wireless gateways (which include the cable modem and wireless router) will by default broadcast a separate signal that other Comcast subscribers can log in to with a Comcast username and password.

via Comcast turns your Xfinity modem into public Wi-Fi hotspot | Ars Technica.

I am reminded again of low-cost mobile carrier Republic Wireless, which offloads mobile VoIP and data traffic to WiFi whenever possible. One of the things that intrigues me about Republic Wireless is that it’s parent company, Bandwidth.com┬áhas a line of business providing VoIP termination to cable ISPs.

Personal telecom industry realignment

Getting an iPhone has forced a realignment of our varies communication services. First, I switched to AT&T from Verizon, then I brought
my wife’s line over so we could get a ten buck a
month break for having a family plan. The shared rollover minutes are nice too.

It didn’t stop there though. Call quality at our house is actually acceptable on at&t’s network, so we can think seriously about making changes to our landline phone service. Some people have ditches their landline service completely, but I like the fact that the phone is powered off the phone network, so I can make calls in a power outage even if I can’t recharge my phone. I also like the higher voice quality of landlone calls.

I am changing our long distance though. We are better off buying more mobile minutes and curtailing our landline long distance. I figure we can save whopping $10 or more a month. We could save even more if we ditched landline long distance because there is a $7/month FCC fee no matter how much we use, but for now I still want the option, so I’m not dropping it all together yet.

Now I have to decide if it is really worth an extra $10 or so a month to use a third party ISP with my DSL line, or if I should just use Qwest’s offering. The most obvious advantage of my current arrangement is that I have a static IP, but I really haven’t made much use of it, though it might come in handy if I want to VPN in from my iPhone.