Residents and emergency personnel in South Florida who may lose internet service in the coming days still have a way to connect with the outside world following Hurricane Irma’s expected impact.
Comcast, the parent company of NBCUniversal and WTVJ/NBC 6, will open its Xfinity WiFi hotspots to anyone across the state – both those who have Xfinity internet service and those who don’t – free of charge.
Users will be able to select the “xfinitywifi” network name when they are in range of one of the over 137,000 hotspots around the state. Those who have Xfinity service will be able to sign on with their user name and password for their account and be able to automatically sign on to that hotspot in the future.
Non-subscribers will be directed to a sign in page that will allow them to access a hotspot through Sept. 15, getting two hours of use each time before having to sign back in.
“We know it’s critically important for everyone to have a means of communication at their disposal before, during and after a storm with the potential impact of Hurricane Irma,” said Amy Smith, senior vice president for Comcast’s Florida Region, said in a statement.
“By activating our WiFi hotspot network across the state now before the storm, we increase the chance that more people can stay connected. It’s something we’re proud to do for our communities and our state at a time when we all need to support each other.”
Comcast reminds customers to unplug all devices or use a surge protector so they aren’t damaged by power surges once officials are able to resume service or power has returned.