TWC Deploys WiFi in SoCal

Coming to (or already arrived at) a utility pole really near you in Southern California…  Time Warner’s new WiFi system!

With $15M of new strand-mounted WiFi access point equipment supplied by BelAir Networks, this new network is apparently intended to provided wide area WiFi coverage in TWC’s service areas.

Presently, TWC’s SoCal deployment is spotty at best, but this is just the beginning:

TWC WiFi So Cal Coverage 2011-09-25So, you’d like to see what the BelAir wireless access points look like installed in SoCal?  Here are two photos taken in Santa Monica by yours truly:

TWC WiFi Access Point on Montana Avenue in Santa Monica
TWC WiFi Access Point on Montana Avenue in Santa Monica
TWC WiFi Access Point on Wilshire Boulevard in Santa Monica
TWC WiFi Access Point on Wilshire Boulevard in Santa Monica

Belair Networks web site points to an interesting piece on the new network posted at FierceWireless: it’s worth reading.

Of course, a few tiny technicalities pop into my head with this deployment.

First, since this is not a cable service, and this is not a personal wireless service, under what regulatory authority does a statewide cable TV franchisee (like, for example, Time Warner) install these wireless access points in the public right-of-way?

Another interesting issue is that I’ve been saying for years that cable operators have to do away with subscriber drop cables.  Is this the door-opener for a last mile (really, last 100 feet) drop cable replacement?  Given that the node locations only cover a couple of blocks around the access point (I’ve checked by measuring signal strength on the SSID “TWCWifi”), the coverage v. capacity trade off looks favorable.

Wireless drops mean no more…well, fewer at least…truck rolls.  This is because in a wireless drop environment most new service installs and disconnects will required the subscriber to pick up and return the box to the cable office.  And without aging cables inside walls going bad, cable service quality should/may should be enhanced.

But wireless drops also require a switched channel selection process for most channels, especially for the lesser viewed channels, coupled with multicasting for the most commonly viewed non-premium channels.

It’ll be interesting to see the reactions of those who are concerned about or opposed to ANY wireless site RF proliferation given the signal strength involved versus the fact that these radios will be in installed residential area front yards, back yards, and side yards just feet from occupied structures.

The cable world is certainly changing…it’s becoming wireless, too.




I have to wonder whether the following might happen:

1. The Department of Justice  is successful in its suit to block the proposed AT&T&T merger or AT&T gives up, pays T-Mobile the $6B cancellation fee; and then

(….hear in your mind’s ear the ethereal sounds of harps and chimes….)

2. King Deutsche Telekom–disappointed at the loss of suitor King AT&T–continues to peddle Princess T-Mobile as a bride for some other lessor noble suitor; and then

3. Prince Sprint steps up says to Princess T-Mobile, ‘Oh, please marry me, Highness!’;  but at about the same  time then

4. Prince Sprint suddenly remembers that he’s already married to an ugly wife, named Countess Nextel; and then

5. Prince Sprint calls the Royal divorce lawyers to rid itself of Countess Nextel (really, to profitably free himself of the Countess’s land sites and frequencies) to uses the divorce settlement to help finance the ‘reverse dowry’ it offered to King Deutsche Telekom); and then

6. Prince Sprint and Countess Nextel go their separate ways (likely some lesser suitor will step up to protect Nextel’s honor and propose marriage); and then

7. Prince Sprint and Princess T-Mobile wed uniting their lesser kingdoms into one land, and then

8. Many of Princess T-Mobile’s hand maidens (they’re called employees in T-Mobiledom) find themselves put out of the castle, while the lucky few other retainers are invited to pledge their allegiance the court contractors of Prince Sprint, but

9. The serfs (oddly called ‘subscribers’ for some strange reason) in the newly combined Kingdom of SpriT-Mobile see no difference in their lives.  They continue to pay their monthly tribute to the Prince and Princess to be allowed access to the expanded lands of Kingdom and the privilege of communicating with other serfs of SprinT-Mobile, and serfs in the other aligned Kingdoms.

The new Royal couple might even have their own Royal Coat of Arms:

…and be known by the Hollywood name of “Sprin-Tee”!

One has to wonder when such a story might come true!  For the meantime, this is just a fanciful parody.  Yup…just a parody.