WiFI on utility poles


Today another colleague and I discovered the famous 'xfinitywifi' ,'CableWIFi', 'CoxWiFi' and a new one 'XFINITY' on our University campus. After doing some poking around on campus we found these gems (attached picture) on 2 utility poles that pass by our east campus. Standing underneath it I got a -46 RSSI in both 5 and 2.4Ghz, maybe 75-100 yards away inside our hockey fieldhouse, through lots of brick, cinder blocks and metal, I was still picking the 2.4Ghz at -64.

Looks like the unit is getting power from the coax.

My question is, I've done a little poking around and have not found anything substantial to learn more information about this Comcast program.

Any insight would be nice!

Michael Voity
University of Vermont

Sorry folks, attachment didn't work. Here is the link -



Michael Voity
University of Vermont



There are Comcast people on the list who may have more info, but it’s just expansion of their WiFi hotspot network and part of the CableWifi consortium. http://www.cablewifi.com, or you can go to http://wifi.xfinity.com to see Comcast’s specific deployment.

Cable companies have thousands of strand-mount Wifi APs deployed at this point.


Wow, it is like they are actively sabotaging us. Sigh...

None of that in this area yet - I'm sure it's only a matter of time though.

And they are as annoying as f*&k! and litter the already noisy 5 Ghz
unlicensed band, Hopefully, the sun will fry them dead over time.


Usually terribly placed, like a shotgun blast instead of strategic locations.

In article <CAFFgAjBKRQAiyvci0qW=R8F=7VgpDyjSQTxPWTr7=f7HQhM+XQ@mail.gmail.com> you write:

And they are as annoying as f*&k! and litter the already noisy 5 Ghz
unlicensed band, Hopefully, the sun will fry them dead over time.

The placement may be suboptimal, but free wifi away from home is nice.
CableWifi really is a consortium, T-W customers can use Comcast's
hotspots and vice versa.

Suboptimal is an understatement. How they are placed around Kansas City,
they are self interfering, unable to hear the clients, and in places that
make no sense (outside of a rural house where the next house is a 1/2 mile
away). I can usually see 5+ of them all on the same 5.8Ghz channel.

You can learn more at http://wifi.xfinity.com/. There are more than 8M hotspots around the country today and we're doing more and more outdoor / public area WiFi hotspots. In my area (Philadelphia) I hit them all along the route that my commuter train takes, so it's convenient.

The XFINITY SSID is new and uses WPA2 IIRC.

The guys copied (Ken and Corey) are good contacts for any direct questions about Comcast's WiFi network.

As an aside, it does not look like UVM is covered yet but we expanded our free college streaming service this Fall and on campuses that have Xfinity WiFi, it would presumably help students stream from more places (see http://corporate.comcast.com/comcast-voices/xfinity-on-campus-expands-comcast-now-brings-streaming-tv-to-24-colleges-and-universities).

- Jason

Sabotaging how?

- Jason

On 9/9/15, 10:20 PM, "NANOG on behalf of Hunter Fuller"

If you run across any you think are terribly placed, feel free to email
Corey and Ken with the location and your thoughts on better placement.

- Jason

On 9/9/15, 10:31 PM, "NANOG on behalf of Mike Hammett"

5 GHz noise levels affecting people whose primary means of Internet access is via fixed wireless .

And how do you propose we solve this?

Use 2GHz instead of 5GHz for the outdoor WiFi plants?

So we should limit our public use of the 5ghz spectrum so that others can
use it? How about we use licensed spectrum for fixed wireless services.

It's come full circle!

Stay out of 5.9 GHz and I'm happy :slight_smile:

I've seen some of the Part 15 links we have here lose SNR as the prevalence of
5.8 GHz radios grows. We've been moving a few links to the 3.3-3.5 GHz band
where we can (and don't have to pay a climber).

This is a huge deal for those people like myself that depend on fixed wireless for access at home because there is no broadband available despite incentives given by cities and states and the federal government.

The local WISPs are good at coordinating access in these ISM bands amongst themselves but when someone appears with a SSID without doing a peek at the spectrum (note: not a site survey, but actual spectrum view w/ waterfall, as site survey only checks for the channel width that the client radio is configured for, not al the 10, 15, 8, 30mhz wide variants).

It’s just poor practice to show up and break something else because you can’t be bothered to notice the interference or noise floor you created. I suspect the hardware that Comcast is using doesn’t notice this interference or adjacent channel issues. With the FCC aiming to let cell carriers also clog the 5ghz ISM band it’s only going to get worse.

- Jared

If it were truly free and open access I’d be more tolerant of them stomping on my signal, but you have to be a CableCo customer in order to use it. The truly sucky thing about TWC’s deployment is that they are also installing it in restaurants, bars, and similar venues—sometimes displacing the open access setup that was already there. They conveniently forget to tell the owner/manager that it’s not really free access.

(Who spent many hours helping restaurants, bars, and similar venues in the Austin area set up guest wireless networks.)

This sounds like a hypothetical complaint, AFAIK none of the members of the
CableWiFi consortium are deploying APs outside of their footprint. Since
most of the APs use a cable modem for their backhaul it's not really
feasible to be without at least one broadband option (the cable MSO) and be
impaired by the CableWiFi APs.

Now, there is one potential exception to this I'm aware of which is
Comcast's Xfinity on Campus service, but I'd expect the number of colleges
they're servicing that aren't already getting cable broadband service to
approach zero.



Having said all of that, I'd agree that a good radio resource management
approach would benefit all of us, including the CableWiFi guys.


Scott Helms
Vice President of Technology
(678) 507-5000