A group of cable and tech companies are banding together to create a coalition to push the government for expanded Wi-Fi access. The companies, which include Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Broadcom, Charter, Google, and Microsoft, have independently pushed for the release of more spectrum and announced Thursday the creation of WiFiForward.
Of note is the absence of wireless carriers in this group, including Verizon and AT&T. Such companies have built their own networks of Wi-Fi hot spots to take the stress off their cellular networks. Yet there have been concerns that such hot spots could also eat into their revenues.
Comcast has close to a million Wi-Fi hotspots and anticipates adding more to meet customer demand. "Skyrocketing usage on Wi-Fi networks has caused significant congestion in existing Wi-Fi spectrum bands, especially in urban areas and in crowded public venues," wrote Tom Nagel, senior vice president of business development and strategic initiatives, in a blog post. "It is critical that we take action now so that we have Wi-Fi networks that can continue to meet the growing needs of consumers in the future."