Comcast (Nasdaq: CMCSA) said Wednesday that it will offer web surfers free access to thousands of WiFi hotspots in New Jersey, Delaware and the Philadelphia area throughout the 2012 Summer Olympics, which kick off on Friday.
The move could help Comcast market its Xfinity high-speed Internet access service to non-subscribers, including customers of Verizon (NYSE: VZ), AT&T (NYSE: T) and other broadband providers who will be able to access its indoor and outdoor WiFi hotspots. It could also help Comcast drive online and mobile video ratings increases for its NBCUniversal unit, which is broadcasting the games and distributing live video on apps that it has developed for Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL) iOS and Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) Android mobile phones and tablets.
While Comcast teamed up earlier this year with Time Warner Cable (NYSE: TWC), Cablevision (NYSE: CVC), Cox Communications and Bright House Networks to market WiFi access points with the CableWiFi brand, the nation's largest cable MSO is touting its own Xfinity WiFi brand during the Olympics promotion. The MSO said users will be able to access the hotspots by connecting to WiFi access points that use the xfinitywifi network ID.
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