In the department of good timing, on the same day AT&T (NYSE: T) announced an end to new unlimited mobile data access accounts, Cablevision (NYSE: CVC) is asking the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) to extend its Optimum WiFi network to Long Island Rail Road and Metro-North commuter rail trains on Long Island and in Westchester/Southern Connecticut. It’s a response to a formal RFP for what would be the largest commuter rail system in the country with full WiFi access. Cablevision is promising to have the entire system up and running within 12 months – at no cost to the MTA — if picked. Cablevision has been extending its WiFi profile across the metro area, including a deal to share hotspot access with Time Warner Cable (NYSE: TWC).
Access would be included for Optimum Online high-speed Internet customers; Cablevision would provide a “reasonable” option for other users. On the tech side, Cablevision wants to use trackside WiFi backhaul connected to its fiber-optic network instead of cellular transmissions.