Author Topic: Cablevision Wireless WIFI Network is Already Up?  (Read 20991 times)

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CableDude101

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Cablevision Wireless WIFI Network is Already Up?
« on: May 14, 2008, 04:38:35 PM »
Could it be?

I was walking to the library the other day and just happened to look up at the utility pole.  I saw a gray box with 2 LED lights and what looked like a wireless antenna attached to the Cablevision line (figure 1).  I got excited.  On Thursday Cablevision announced that they were going to build a wi-fi network that would cover their entire service area, but it isn?t expected to be complete until 2010.  What was this box doing there, and how did they put it up so quickly?

Today I was going to lunch with TrueQam and we happened to see two Field Technicians in a boom truck.  They were installing one of the gray boxes and a second white box, about 5 feet apart from each other.  I snapped a quick but grainy picture with my cell phone (figure 2).  We walked up to one of the techs and asked what they were installing.  The tech was a little hesitant and said they were installing something for wireless service.  We asked him why there were two.  The techs answer is that they were from two different vendors and Cablevision was testing which one they like better.  The tech was obviously uneasy so we decided to leave without asking any more questions.  We said ?thank you? and continued on our way.

As soon as TrueQam and I returned to www.CableRant.com headquarters we began to research the mysterious devices.  The gray box is a BelAir 100S Strand Mounted Wireless Multi-service Node (figure 3).  The unit supports DOCSIS 2.0 and broadcast 802.11a/b/g.  Click here for more technical information.

The white box is a Cisco Aironet 1500 Series mesh access point (figure 4). This unit also supports DOCSIS 2.0 and depending upon the model can broadcast in 802.11a or 802.11b/g.  The main difference is that the Cisco product is used for a mesh network.  Click here for more information.

Upon further investigation, and by investigation I mean driving around, it seems that a good portion of the area I covered is wired with the BelAir 100S.  Now that I know to look for the boxes I have seen about 20 of them.  I have yet to see another one of the Cisco Aironets.

I?m excited about this.  Free wi-fi (for Cablevision subscribers) is a huge step.  Cablevision customers would have access to the internet almost anywhere in the NY/NJ/CT area.  A wireless network that widespread would be the first of its kind.

I plan to go by the library tonight.  I?m going to bring my laptop and see if I get a wireless signal from the BelAir node.  I?ll post the results as soon as I have them.

Figure 1


Figure 2


Figure 3


Figure 4
« Last Edit: June 04, 2008, 03:43:30 PM by TrueQAM »

disgusted

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Re: Cablevision Wireless Network is Already Up?
« Reply #1 on: May 14, 2008, 11:14:57 PM »
This is pretty cool.  I can't wait until it is live.
I wonder how this will affect TSG.
I'm sure they will give us more work with no pay increase.


On a side note
Wifi Net News is stating they paid $350 million to Belair to the equipment.
Quote
Cablevision will offer free Wi-Fi to its customers across a swath of New York: The company will spend an astounding $350m over two years?roughly $100 per customer?to put in service that they peg at offering 1.5 Mbps downstream rates. Broadband subscribers to their Optimum Online broadband service, which has rates of 15/2 and 30/5 Mbps. Others will pay for access. The company has 3.1m cable customers in New York.

This is the first large-scale Wi-Fi network announced that had no public/private component to it. While Verizon once said they?d blanket New York City with payphone-based Wi-Fi nodes, that never materialized, and it was unclear how seamless the coverage would ever be. This is a full-blown metro-scale network that?s not beholden to any political interest, and which can likely use mounting rights already available to Cablevision. (In the past, I?ve said this, and folks have said that franchising agreements would exclude additional mounted equipment of this kind. Years later, I have to say I?ve never found anything to support that opinion, but welcome more documented information in the comments.)

The idea is for Wi-Fi to act as a mobile broadband component for Cablevision, to dilute the impact of the Sprint/Clearwire deal announced yesterday. While cable companies rarely compete in a given territory, the Sprint/Clearwire joint venture will make it easier for a customer to get home and mobile broadband and voice from one company, and then turn to another firm for video. This buys Cablevision a quadruple play (voice, video, data, mobile broadband) with a future quintuple play by adding (as they say they will) voice over Wi-Fi service.

Sources indicate that BelAir equipment will be used, which makes sense given BelAir?s release nearly three years ago of a cable-plant compatible Wi-Fi node designed essentially for precisely this contingency. This is a nice win for BelAir, which will likely be selling somewhere north of 15,000 nodes based on the coverage area and service described. BelAir gear also powers Minneapolis, the only successfully completed big-city Wi-Fi network in North America.
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buba_cv

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Re: Cablevision Wireless Network is Already Up?
« Reply #2 on: May 14, 2008, 11:33:05 PM »
I like the whole integrated Node/WIFI Gateway.  Makes installing an easy upgrade for the company.  No extra devices.  It would be crazy to double the amount of nodes, so this is clearly a good product.  I'm sure Out Side plant is having fun installing it.  I wonder what order they are replacing them in.  Also the Cisco node looks a bit weak   ;D
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vz_grunt

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Re: Cablevision Wireless Network is Already Up?
« Reply #3 on: May 15, 2008, 02:26:08 PM »
Will never work.  You need something stronger if you want real coverage.
Only something based of cell phone technology or WIMAX would ever provide adequate coverage.
This is just a gimmick on Cablevision's end to say they have wireless access for free.
Too bad it won't work.

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Re: Cablevision Wireless Network is Already Up?
« Reply #4 on: May 15, 2008, 11:36:38 PM »
Whats good about this, I can drop the data plan for my WIFI enabled cell phone.
Heck, I could drop the calling plan and used my unlocked phone with a service like Skype to get cheap calling.

Also, I'm sure this will piss off the cell phone companies who make a lot of money off the data plans.
Think about it.  They paid tons of money for wireless spectrum.
Now Cablevision comes in and uses weak wireless gateways that are not on a regulated spectrum to offer wireless internet.  Even though they don't have the range of cell phone towers, they are integrating them into Nodes.  There are so many Nodes that they can easily saturate the area with enough of them to give adequate coverage.  This blows up the whole business model that cell phone companies paid tons of money to the FCC in auctions to obtain.

I'm sure there will be some lawsuits soon if the WIFI takes off.
Verizon and the others will not sit around and see their revenue disappear.

This may even be why Cablevision is offering.  Verizon Wireless is financing the FIOS expansion.

Anyway, I want my free WIFI now   ;D
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GlennFleishman

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Re: Cablevision Wireless Network is Already Up?
« Reply #5 on: May 16, 2008, 12:53:47 PM »
Wifi Net News is stating they paid $350 million to Belair to the equipment.

Howdy, I'm the editor of Wi-Fi Networking News, and I wanted to clarify that I did not state that. Cablevision has said publicly in several venues that they would spend about $100 per customer, and in other places said they would spend roughly $350 million (rounded up). If we make a lot of assumptions, that's at least 15,000 BelAir nodes, possibly more, so more like $30 million to $50 million to them. The rest would be installation costs, additional pole mounting or other costs (which may be minimal), the backhaul infrastructure (which has to be sizeable), and network operations. In earlier Wi-Fi networks, the Wi-Fi nodes were about 15 to 25 percent of the network's setup cost.

Also, this money hasn't yet been spent. They'll be be building the network over two years.

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Re: Cablevision Wireless Network is Already Up?
« Reply #6 on: May 16, 2008, 06:35:34 PM »
Howdy, I'm the editor of Wi-Fi Networking News, and I wanted to clarify that I did not state that. Cablevision has said publicly in several venues that they would spend about $100 per customer, and in other places said they would spend roughly $350 million (rounded up). If we make a lot of assumptions, that's at least 15,000 BelAir nodes, possibly more, so more like $30 million to $50 million to them. The rest would be installation costs, additional pole mounting or other costs (which may be minimal), the backhaul infrastructure (which has to be sizeable), and network operations. In earlier Wi-Fi networks, the Wi-Fi nodes were about 15 to 25 percent of the network's setup cost.

Also, this money hasn't yet been spent. They'll be be building the network over two years.

My bad.  I read it quick.  Thanks for clarifying the costs.  I can see I didn't take into account the installation costs are part of the total cost.

Do you know how good the range on these nodes will be?  I wonder if everyone will truly be able to access them.
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standard

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Re: Cablevision Wireless Network is Already Up?
« Reply #7 on: May 30, 2008, 12:09:01 PM »
I was driving down Sunrise Highway in Seaford and Massapequa.
They have the Belair Wireless WIFI Nodes up on that stretch now.
They appear to be on every intersection.
There is one is front of "Tony's Gas Stop" and "7-11" in Seaford.
There is also one that I assume is strategically placed in front of TGIF in Massapequa.
I'm sure people waiting to be seated at the TGIF could take advantage of their WIFI enabled phones.
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standard

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Re: Cablevision Wireless Network is Already Up?
« Reply #8 on: May 30, 2008, 12:23:08 PM »
By the way, does anyone know how they power these wireless wifi nodes?
Does the cable line also carry electricity?
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CableDude101

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Re: Cablevision Wireless Network is Already Up?
« Reply #9 on: May 31, 2008, 03:20:25 PM »
I got screenshots.  I went to a Starbucks on Hempstead Tpke and saw one of the Bel Air nodes up on the pole.  Luckily I had my laptop and checked if they were broadcasting.

The nodes were broadcasting a signal and I was able to login.

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Re: Cablevision Wireless Network is Already Up?
« Reply #10 on: June 02, 2008, 04:41:13 PM »
Thats strange how you have to keep that one page open.
I'm sure we will eventually get a lot of calls at TSG regarding the wife service, just because customers are not keeping that page open.
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Re: Cablevision Wireless WIFI Network is Already Up?
« Reply #11 on: July 02, 2008, 10:59:41 PM »
I've seen them on Route 109 in Hicksville now.
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majortom1981

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Re: Cablevision Wireless WIFI Network is Already Up?
« Reply #12 on: July 09, 2008, 08:30:57 AM »
All they are doing is expanding their wifi network. Cablevision has had this wifi network up in huntington village and prot jeff by the fewrries for about 2 years.

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Re: Cablevision Wireless WIFI Network is Already Up?
« Reply #13 on: July 10, 2008, 08:56:24 AM »
All they are doing is expanding their wifi network. Cablevision has had this wifi network up in Huntington village and Port Jeff by the ferries for about 2 years.

Weather it is new or expanding a new one, it is still pretty cool.
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