To help those who might be facing financial hardships to stay connected, internet companies such as Comcast had previously announced that they will be opening up more than 1 million of its Xfinity hotspots around the US. This means that for those without internet access at home, they’ll be able to hook onto Comcast’s Xfinity hotspots instead.
However, it seems that a handful of US Senators don’t think that Comcast’s efforts are enough, and in a letter sent to the company, Democratic senators Kamala Harris, Cory Booker, and Ron Wyden are calling on Comcast to open all of its hotspots to better help students who are stuck at home and need the internet to continue with their education.
Right now, the Xfinity hotspots that Comcast has opened up are mostly in public spaces like shopping districts and parks, which given the stay-at-home orders, doesn’t really make sense. Instead, the senators are urging the company to open up its hotspots in residential areas, which are usually locked behind a paywall only accessible by the company’s paying customers and their guests.
However, according to Senator Wyden, Comcast responded to their initial request by saying that this would not be possible as it could create a congestion that would impact the speed for its paying customers. The senators have since given the company until the 22nd of May to answer questions, such as how these wireless hotspots are managed and what kind of performance problems customers might experience should these hotspots were to be opened up to everyone.