SALT LAKE CITY — Beginning Thursday, Comcast will launch a new network of more than 1,000 Wi-Fi hotspots in Utah that will allow Xfinity Internet customers to access fast wireless service free of charge. In addition, hot spots will be available to non-Comcast customers at low cost or free depending on use.
As part of its rollout program, Comcast has installed and activated more than 1,000 Xfinity WiFi hotspots in Ogden, Salt Lake City, Provo and many other cities along the Wasatch Front, said Comcast spokesman Ray Child.
The locations include popular gathering spots in the Sugar House and at Temple Square in Salt Lake City and University Mall in Orem, and there plans to add more hotspots in more areas on an ongoing basis, he said.
The Wi-Fi network is part of a nationwide system that allows Xfinity Internet customers to access more than 300,000 hotspots across the country, said Tom Nagel, Comcast senior vice president of business development and strategy for communications and data services.
By placing hotspots in high-traffic areas, Comcast is making it more convenient to access the Internet away from home, he said.
For access, customers should search for “xfinitywifi” or “CableWiFi” on the list of available networks and follow prompts to begin their WiFi sessions. Mobile device users can use the Xfinity WiFi app that is available for iOS and Android devices to locate Xfinity WiFi hotspots nationwide, Child said.
Additionally, non-Xfinity Internet customers can access Xfinity WiFi hotspots free of charge for up to two, one-hour sessions every 30 days and, after those sessions have expired, for a fee based on time of usage, he said.
“We want to provide an alternative access network that is really much, much less expensive for (customers and non-customers) to use and is very, very fast,” Nagel said. In general, the system will operate at 5 megabits per second and 10 megabits per second, he added.
Nagel said the local network is expected to grow even larger in the coming years, which should improve access to customers all over.
“People use the Internet on the go all the time, but mobile data plans are increasingly limited and can be expensive,” said Comcast Regional Vice President Kyle McSlarrow. “With Xfinity WiFi, now our customers can save mobile phone data and get faster Internet while they’re out and about.”