Time Warner Cable floods Charlotte with Ruckus WiFi gear for DNC

Time Warner Cable (NYSE: TWC) said it has spent about $2 million to build a WiFi network in uptown Charlotte, N.C., that it will use to offer free broadband access during the Democratic National Convention.

The MSO installed WiFi access points from Ruckus Wireless, the Sunnyvale, Calif.-based vendor that supplied it with gear to build a $15 million WiFi network in Southern California last year, Time Warner Cable spokesman Justin Venech said.

Time Warner Cable offers free WiFi to its cable modem customers in the New York metropolitan area, Southern California and Charlotte. It's also selling pay-as-you-go plans to non-subscribers in Charlotte--$2.95 for one hour of WiFi access.

However, during the DNC, which runs from Aug. 27 through Sept. 7, the MSO says it will offer all Charlotte consumers, businesses and DNC attendees free WiFi access.

The move could help Time Warner Cable market its TWC WiFi brand to influential DNC attendees who would discover its network when searching for WiFi connections from  mobile phones, tablets and laptops.

In May, Time Warner Cable teamed up with Comcast (Nasdaq: CMCSA), Cablevision (NYSE: CVC), Cox Communications and Bright House Networks on a WiFi roaming deal that was announced at The Cable Show convention in Boston. The companies plan to market WiFi access points that will use the CableWi network ID.  The CableWi network ID isn't yet available. "We expect to add that in the next couple of months," Venech said.

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