Comcast thinks it ok to install public wifi in your house

Jeroen Massar jeroen at
Thu Dec 11 07:08:31 UTC 2014

On 2014-12-11 03:35, Jeroen van Aart wrote:
> Grear – a paralegal – and her daughter claim the Xfinity hotspot is an
> unauthorized intrusion into their private home, places a "vast" burden
> on electricity bills, opens them up to attacks by hackers, and
> "degrades" their bandwidth.

LibertyGlobal (basically all cable in Europe) calls this "Wi-Free"

description here:

Uses likely the same trick as Comcast has:
 - separate DOCSIS channel, thus not on your IP/bandwidth[1]
 - separate SSID (2.4Ghz channel 1 b/g/n + n is what I have seen)
 - authenticated by user/pass (thus you are tracked)

in the LG case though it is opt-out which means that you go to the
"MyUPC" or similar page on their website and turn it off. Turning it off
does mean one cannot use that service elsewhere though.

As in .ch one either has DSL through Swisscom or Cable through UPC
(typically cheaper and faster and one has TV anyway) the latter is
almost per building available, thus the spread of this "UPC Wi-Free" is
pretty big. Check the map at the bottom, it is rather insane, though I
think that map renders where their customers are not where it is
enabled. I see 4 different ones just from my office with the imac
internal antenna...

As most people have pre-paid 4G though I wonder how useful it is that
these SSIDs are everywhere. Maybe one could see it as a sneak
advertising model though.

Primarily it will cause wifi-boxes that auto-select channels to move
away from channel 1 (which seems to be the primary one to be used)
moving away from that channel, thus meaning that other wifi channels get
even more crowded. And likely the Wi-Free ones are not used...

They btw did announce this 'feature' by advertising it. Of course few
people will understand the impacts as their marketing department does
not either and claims 'it does not impact you'...


[1] = of course if you have crappy connectivity then it becomes crappier
if a channel is taken away

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