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Comcast considers neighborhood Wi-Fi in Twin Cities

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The Twin Cities' largest provider of broadband Internet is testing a plan for public Wi-Fi that will eventually debut in Minnesota, the Pioneer Press reports.

In several pilot programs across the country, Comcast either modified or replaced current customers' wireless routers so they could broadcast two Wi-Fi signals: a private network to be accessed by homeowners and a public signal, or hotspot.

The Pioneer Press says the clusters of hotspots create a Wi-Fi signal that blanket a city, making Wi-Fi more easily accessible outside your home.

However, USA Today says access to the hot spots isn't completely free, but is available at no charge to Comcast's cable service customers. Those who aren't Comcast customers can use it for free twice a month, an hour at a time.

The company said it started a neighborhood hotspot trial last year in parts of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, northern Virginia and the greater Washington, D.C. metro area. Currently, more than 100,000 subscribers already enjoy these Wi-Fi access points being offered by other Internet subscribers.

It's unclear when the service will land in the Twin Cities.

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