Cablevision to Build Wireless Broadband Network in U.S.

With much of the buzz these days about WiMax wireless broadband, Cable TV provider Cablevision Systems announced plans today to offer high-speed wireless Internet service to its customers. The network will use existing infrastructure but instead of building WiMax it will use Wi-Fi technology. It will cost the company about $100 per customer in its largest coverage area, on Long Island and other areas around New York City.

In a conference call, Chief Operating Officer Tom Rutledge said that over half of the homes in the Cablevision coverage area also subscribe to high-speed Internet service. Rutledge said Cablevision will build the new service over the next two years. Customers will be offered Internet through mobile devices like the iPhone, BlackBerry or laptop computers.

Rutledge said the Wi-Fi high-speed Internet will be free to existing customers and available to non-subscribers for a fee. The network will eventually be able to offer wireless phone service.