How do you offer your broadband customers mobile access? There are a couple of options. One is MVNO, reselling cellular data cards to your customers. This is a very expensive option. No margin, but stickiness for your bundle.
Another way is to use hotspots. Hotspots are good advertising for your ISP and can even get you some new revenue from hourly or daily users. The cablecos have done that in-region but have now decided to having roaming wi-fi hotspot contracts with the other cablecos. TWC, Bright House, Comcast, Cablevision and Cox will be able to log in to each other's Wi-Fi hotspots - a total of 50,000 hotspots.
I guess AT&T will have to change this statement: "With AT&T Wi-Fi access included at thousands of hotspots nationwide. Cable can't provide that!"
AT&T acquired Wayport years ago and eventually supplanted T-Mobile as the wi-fi provider for Starbucks. AT&T owns more than 20,000 hotspots in the US, including McDonald's, Fedex/Kinkos, and Hilton locations. Wi-Fi access is included for iPhone users on AT&T and for certain other AT&T Mobility and AT&T High Speed Internet service. AT&T uses wi-fi to offload traffic from their overloaded cell network.
"Verizon Wi-Fi for High Speed Internet is a free service that enables qualified Verizon High Speed Internet subscribers to access the internet at thousands of public places known as Wi-Fi hotspots . This wireless service is not intended to be used from your home, but to be used while on-the-go." No idea how many or where, but the locator is here.
Two things are interesting. The top 5 or six cablecos are starting to work together, deliver the same services (usually with the same vendor) like home automation and security, and inter-connect with NNI's. Soon the cablecos will have a nationwide footprint that looks homegenous. The other is that the cablecos are starting to look more and more like the ILECs.