For many of us, being constantly connected to the internet has become a requirement, not a luxury. Comcast says it's working to keep you online, no matter where you are.
"Our customers are mobile. Everywhere they go they want TV, data..." said Lisa Kocsis-Lecureux, a senior director of engineering at Comcast.
Comcast started bringing more than 190,000 WiFi hotspots on line earlier this month and just finished the job last week. All those hotspots will allow the company's customers to have access to the internet without using their own data.
Comcast is creating these WiFi hotspots in two ways. You can find then at business locations throughout Michigan, like restaurants, office waiting rooms, and stores. The company has also created Neighborhood Hotspots by offering residential customers XFINITY Wireless Gateways that provide a second WiFi signal at their homes.
"What this does it provides a way for a public open hot spot to be available for customers to use not even having to touch your home network," said Kocsis-Lecureux.
Facebook Feedback, Questions
Local 4 posted some information about the expansion of these hotspots and the news sparked some questions. Some of you shared your concerns on our Facebook page, concerns about the safety of your personal WiFi.
The Comcast engineer says your security should not be at risk because the public signal is totally separate and distinct from your personal WiFi. In fact, the new system means you will not need to share your password with visitors to your home to get them online. That change will keep your password information even more secure.
"If they do feel threatened or there's some issue on their end, they can also disable the public hotspot simply by going to "MyAccount", or calling Comcast," said Kocsis-Lecureux.
Other viewers said they worried strangers might be able to use that public signal from outside your home. Kocsis-Lecureux says the power of the signal has not changed, and its still not strong enough for a stranger to use.
Users will still have to sign in to get access to the signal. Comcast customers can use their own account information to access the signal. Others will can get complementary passes to use the public WiFi.
As for the cost, Comcast says the public WiFi signal is an extra benefit to customers who have their own internet packages, whether for residential or business use. Comcast also says customers will benefit because they are able to use the WiFi hotspots across the country.
Currently, Comcast has more than one million hotspots nationwide, and that number is expected to reach 8 million by the end of 2014.