Comcast launched a new cloud-based service on Monday that allows users to control and monitor their Wi-Fi usage. The company also announced a wireless partnership with Charter Communications.
The new service, called XFi, allows users to set up their home Wi-Fi, shut off children's devices at bedtime, and troubleshoot problems from an application on their mobile phones, website or television. It is now available for free to Comcast's Xfinity Internet customers with compatible WiFi devices.
Comcast says that by 2020, Americans will have an average of 50 connected devices in their homes.
In creating XFi, the company hopes to address customer complaints about Internet service are actually about Wi-Fi.
Deal with Charter
As part of their deal, Comcast and Charter agreed that they wouldn't buy other wireless companies for one year, or make related deals without consulting each other first.
The companies said that while they'll offer wireless services separately to customers, they'll work together on behind-the-scenes matters like customer billing and managing the platform customers use to order devices. The cable and internet providers said the agreement will save money and help them compete with national wireless providers.
To compete, Comcast expects to launch its own wireless plan , Xfinity Mobile, in the next several weeks. Charter expects to introduce its unnamed service next year. Both wireless services will lease Verizon's network.