Comcast, Liberty Global Shake Hands on International Wi-Fi Networks

Comcast, Liberty Global Shake Hands on International Wi-Fi Networks

FILE - In this Dec. 3, 2009 file photo, a sign outside the Comcast Center, left, is shown in Philadelphia. On Tuesday, Jan. 14, 2014 a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit affirmed that the FCC had authority to create open-access rules. But in a setback for the Obama administration's goal of Internet openness, the court ruled that the FCC failed to establish that its 2010 regulations don't overreach. Under so-called net neutrality rules adopted in 2010 by the Federal Communications Commission, wired broadband providers such as Comcast, Time Warner Cable and Verizon were barred from prioritizing some types of Internet traffic over others. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, file)
In this Dec. 3, 2009 file photo, a sign outside the Comcast Center, left, is shown in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, file)

(ZDNet) – Comcast and Liberty Global have agreed to run trial services sharing broadband networks in 2014.

The cable companies announced the scheme Thursday, saying that the international Wi-Fi access agreement will give some of the firms’ subscribers extended access to each other’s broadband networks in 2015.

A trial is set to start at the end of this year, and if it proves successful, Xfinity Internet and Liberty Global internet customers will be granted access to new Wi-Fi access points in various countries by 2015. Comcast has over three million Xfinity Wi-Fi hotspots in the US, while Liberty Global has the upper hand in Europe — claiming over 2.5 million Wi-Fi spots in countries including Belgium, the Netherlands, Ireland, Poland and Switzerland.

The companies say the deal will provide many of the 11 million Americans visiting Europe and the 12 million Europeans visiting the US a free alternative to roaming, which is often expensive.

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