by Paula M. Riley

A coverage map shows WiFi hot spots in Chestnut Hill.

Want WiFi everywhere?  If you’re a Comcast customer, you might be surprised to know the company literally has hot spots everywhere, including Chestnut Hill.

As part of Comcast’s Xfinity WiFi initiative, Comcast Xfinity Internet customers now have the ability to access thousands of outdoor and indoor WiFi hotspots for no additional fee. Xfinity WiFi hotspots have been launched throughout the greater Philadelphia area and its suburbs.

These hotspots, Comcast representatives explain, are located in areas where customers spend time working, commuting, relaxing, shopping and socializing. Chestnut Hill’s mass transit stops, Pastorius Park and Germantown Avenue were natural candidates for hotspots. Other hot spots across the region include SEPTA’s Suburban and Market East stations, train platforms along the Paoli/Lansdale Line (formerly R5) and the Manayunk/Norristown Line (formerly R6), the Wells Fargo Center and the South Street shopping district.

Earlier this year, Comcast announced a roaming agreement with Cablevision and Time Warner Cable, whereby Xfinity Internet customers can also enjoy thousands of Xfinity WiFi hotspots in the Greater New York Tri-State area, also for no additional fee.

“With the explosion of wireless Internet devices, new platforms and apps, consumers are increasingly looking to enjoy entertainment and communications on the go,” said Cathy Avgiris, senior vice president and general manager of communications and data services for Comcast Cable. “We offer some of the fastest Internet speeds in the home and, by offering Xfinity WiFi, we’re also providing a fast wireless Internet experience for our customers when they are outside the home,” she said.

As evidenced by the map, hot spots are fairly evenly placed across the city. The goal is to position them in high activity areas – train stations, parks, along shopping districts.  Just as in other parts of Philadelphia, Chestnut Hill’s high traffic areas are Xfinity WiFi hot spots. Customers can enjoy the same internet access and speed on their laptop, handheld or iPad while out along the Avenue as they enjoy at home.

“In addition to launching WiFi, we’ve increased speeds for customers at no cost, we offer the fastest speeds in the marketplace, we offer a staggering amount of online programming content that our customers can view wherever they are, at home or on the go — to name a few benefits,” said Jeff Alexander, Comcast representative.

The Xfinity WiFi service is open – at no cost – to all Comcast Xfinity Internet customers. All they need is a WiFi-enabled device and a comcast.net username and password.  Many popular devices, including the iPad and the iPod touch, require password entry only once. Once you’ve entered the password, your device will recognize the network wherever it detects the signal.

For more information or to view a map of hotspots, visit http://comcast.cellmaps.com/wifi.html. You can zoom in to see exact locations – just enter 19118 to view all the hotspots in and around Chestnut Hill.