I have written before about how great Cablevision has been in providing high-speed Optimum WiFi access to customers throughout parts of Connecticut and New York. Now this service allows users to roam onto other cable networks provided by Comcast and Time Warner Cable. This means in the tri-state areas, there will be more coverage than ever and Cablevision customers can now jump on Time Warner Cable WiFi and Xfinity WiFi networks.
As WiFi agreements like this continue to take place, the value of standalone WiFi devices increases, meaning the need to purchase 3G or 4G services declines. Having used some of these services in the past I can tell you they are typically most useful when you have a powerful WiFi device like a laptop, as handheld devices like smartphones seem to lack the power needed to fully maximize the wireless broadband experience. The result is that pages may time out or programs may hang or occasionally crash if you aren't close to the access point which is typically located on a power line.
Another drawback is that these networks aren't as useful on the go - in a car for example. Coincidentally, today I was walking around TMC's new campus at River Park at 800 Connecticut Ave in Norwalk, CT and was enjoying the waterfall which was pretty far from the physical building. As I checked my smartphone I was happy that I was in range of Optimum WiFi allowing me to check my email attachments quickly.
I have noticed often that some of these other cable WiFi networks have been available to me as I surf the web on the go and look forward to trying them out in the future.