On May 7th 2013 Ziggo begins with the rollout of its national wifi network via the modems of broadband clients. The company made this announcement on Thursday. The provider had already performed extensive testing in Groningen among 18,000 clients. On May 7th, approximately 65,000 modems in The Hague will also be converted to “WifiSpots”. These “WifiSpots” will share the internet connection of the home user with other Ziggo internet clients that would like to use it. The provider emphasizes that the client’s home internet connection is not affected, and the privacy remains intact.
Ziggo predicts that there will eventually be in excess of one million hotspots. In addition, Ziggo is in negotiation with other parties, including UPC, to see if their networks can be combined. In this way the wifi network would also reach outside of Ziggo’s coverage area. This is not yet the case. People that reside in an area where it is not possible to become a Ziggo client cannot make use of this network yet.
The hotspots will be launched one province at the time. In May and June, Zuid-Holland and Groningen will be next, with another 200,000 hotspots. In June, July, and August the remaining provinces will also be activated. Currently, approximately 850,000 clients have a router that can be used as a hotspot, but according to Ziggo, this number will be above 1 million come September.
Users receive a username and password that only needs to be activated once on their device. After activation, hotspot users are automatically logged in. There can be up to two active connections per Ziggo account, to be used by two different members of the same household or by two different devices, for example.
Can be used while biking
Pieter Vervoort, Head of Consumer Products at Ziggo, calls the roll out of the wifi network “a large step” for the provider. The test in Groningen showed that the network can also be used while biking or walking, according to Ziggo. The average bandwidth of a hotspot is “several mbits” according to Ziggo, and can be used by a maximum of 20 users simultaneously. Approximately 25 percent of the clients took part in this project during the test in Groningen. More than 99 percent of the clients granted permission to use their modem as a hotspot. This was the case all around, as less than one percent of all users turned the hotspot off manually.
To watch television live via hotspots is not yet possible using the Ziggo app. “At this moment we have not yet arranged the rights with all of our content providers to make watching television everywhere possible”, according to Vervoort. “But let it be clear that we would like that to be possible.” Usage of the missed programming site Uitzending Gemist and other video services is possible
4 March 2013