Wi-Fi systems with fancy network-management tools, smartphone apps, and cloud services are the hot new thing, so Comcast is radically retooling its broadband gateways to counter the threat. The cable company and internet service provider is rolling out “Xfinity xFi” to deter customers from swapping out the broadband gateways they rent from Comcast for $10 per month. It will also introduce mesh-like “xFi pods” later this year to increase the Wi-Fi coverage its gateways deliver.
Comcast describes Xfinity xFi as a “digital dashboard” that customers can use to set up and manage their home Wi-Fi network. It will run on the company’s existing broadband gateways and in the cloud, and customers will interact with it via a smartphone app, web portal, or on their TV screens using Comcast’s X1 remote—including voice control.