Comcast claims its new Wi-Fi stays on during storms

16 Aug 2023

Image: Comcast

Comcast said its Storm-Ready Wi-Fi has a cellular back-up and a four-hour rechargeable battery to stay connected during storms or local outages.

US telecoms giant Comcast has rolled out a new Wi-Fi service that is designed to handle stormy weather conditions.

The company’s Storm-Ready Wi-Fi is a device that comes with cellular back-up and a four-hour rechargeable battery. Comcast said this is “more than enough power” to stay connected during the average time of a US power outage.

If the power goes out, Comcast said this Wi-Fi automatically transitions to the cellular back-up so customers can continue to use their internet. The Storm-Ready Wi-Fi is also an “extender”. to boost the internet connection in hard-to-reach parts of a home.

Comcast claims to be the first internet provider to offer a product that can maintain connectivity “when a storm hits, trees are down or a customer experiences a local outage”.

This could be disputed however, as Eero has an internet backup feature that lets users automatically connect to an alternative network or mobile hotspot during an outage.

Comcast also claims its latest product can support Wi-Fi 6, the latest iteration of the Wi-Fi network protocol.

“With so much of our daily lives dependent on Wi-Fi connectivity, we knew our customers needed a product that could help keep them connected no matter what life throws at them – even during a storm,” said Emily Waldorf, Comcast Cable SVP of consumer internet services.

“Not only does Storm-Ready Wi-Fi extend coverage to deliver our best-in-class Wi-Fi to hard-to-reach corners of the home, but it also gives customers the peace of mind that their connection at home can continue even when the power is out.”

Comcast has made the announcement in the middle of the US hurricane season, which is expected to persist until 30 November this year. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration predicts that this year’s Atlantic hurricane season will produce between 12 and 17 storms.

The Comcast Storm-Ready Wi-Fi is available for users of the Xfinity 10G network and costs $7 a month for 36 months.

In 2020, Comcast announced that it acquired Dublin-based communications technology provider Blueface for an undisclosed sum.

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Leigh Mc Gowran is a journalist with Silicon Republic