Cable Company Hotspots

Jay Hennigan jay at
Sat Nov 21 02:42:58 UTC 2020

On 11/20/20 15:26, Rod Beck wrote:
> Hey Gang,
> How do the cable companies generally deliver this service? A friend 
> insists it piggybacks off the WIFI radios of existing cable company 
> subscribers. In other words, the cable company WIFI router in a flat is 
> providing both a private link for the flat's subscriber, but also a 
> public hotspot service.

That's pretty much it. The cable provider typically provides a 
multi-function box that's a cable modem, NAT router, analog telephone 
adapter, and wi-fi hotspot. In addition to the SSID for individual 
customer use they by default have a generic SSID that is used by any 
roaming Comcast customer within range. This has a nasty habit of landing 
on the same channel as other devices and causing interference. The user 
interface doesn't show this or have any way of disabling it.

They provided one of these for my sister and of course their box wasn't 
exactly in the best place in the house for radio. I put in a proper 
access point and it took several phone calls to tech support to get them 
to turn off the radio in their box completely including the default 
roaming SSID. I was this >< close to opening the thing up to figure out 
which trace to cut when I finally got someone with enough clue to turn 
it off.

Jay Hennigan - jay at
Network Engineering - CCIE #7880
503 897-8550 - WB6RDV

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