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Hundreds of new Comcast outdoor WiFi hotspots installed throughout Michigan

Comcast has installed close to 700 Xfinity WiFi hotspots around southeast Michigan.The outdoor hotspots have been installed in public spaces in Ann Arbor, Detroit, Grosse Pointe, Royal Oak and St. Clair Shores, according to a news release.

This bumps the total statewide WiFi hotspot count to 654,000, making Comcast the service provider with the largest coverage area.

The hotspots aren't hard to find. Opening up the WiFi settings on your phone or laptop around town usually displays "xfinitywifi" as an available network. For Comcast Xfinity internet customers, the hotspots are accessible by entering a Comcast email and password.

Non-customers can also use the outdoor hotspots for free twice per month for one hour each session. After that, non-customers can buy access at hourly, daily, weekly or monthly rates.

Comcast plans to launch additional outdoor hotspots around Michigan throughout this year.

"We're a mobile-centric society with an insatiable appetite for staying connected all the time, everywhere," said Tim Collins, Comcast senior vice president in Michigan, in the release. "These outdoor hotspots offer our customers even more value from their (Xfinity) service by letting them connect to family, friends, information and entertainment like never before."

Amping up the WiFi service in public locations piggybacks on Comcast's early 2016 gigabit internet service launch. By the second half of 2016, Detroit will be one of five cities in which the new DOCSIS 3.1-powered gigabit internet will be available.

Comcast has had its Gigabit Pro service running for a year, at a cost of $299 per month to willing customers. Collins said in December that Comcast put the service in place for the handful of customers who absolutely needed gigabit services immediately.

It's a placeholder.

The new service provides more gigabit speed options.

"We're constantly working to ensure that our customers get the fastest speeds available, and that they get them first," said Comcast Central Division President, Bill Connors. "DOCSIS 3.1 represents a tremendous step forward in our commitment to keeping customers at the technology forefront..."

The new service allows customers to receive gigabit service over existing hardware, which is a different approach than fiber-to-home services that require construction.

Comcast's WiFi hotspots can be located through its Xfinity WiFi app.

Ian Thibodeau is the business and development reporter for MLive Media Group in Detroit. He can be reached at ithibode@mlive.com, or follow him on Twitter.

This article was originally published on MLive.com.

 
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