WiFi when the power’s out? NJ internet provider created a way
When the power goes out during a storm, what in your home are you missing most?
In 2023, the answer for many in New Jersey is WiFi.
Right in the middle of the Atlantic hurricane season, an internet provider in New Jersey has launched a first-of-its-kind service that aims to alleviate the no-connectivity stress that typically accompanies hours-long power outages.
The new product is called Storm-Ready WiFi.
From Comcast, the product automatically switches a customer's network to cellular backup so they can continue Internet usage in the event of a storm or local outage.
The modem-like device is equipped with a four-hour rechargeable battery to keep a customer's WiFi up and running — the average outage in the U.S. lasts about two hours, according to federal officials.
"With so much of our daily lives dependent on WiFi connectivity, we knew our customers needed a product that could help keep them connected no matter what life throws at them — even during a storm," said Emily Waldorf, with Comcast Cable.
The device doubles as a WiFi extender for the home during normal operation, meaning it can deliver a strong signal to hard-to-reach corners of the one's home.
Comcast is offering the backup service at a rate of $7 for 36 months. There's no activation fee.
According to Comcast, a customer just needs to plug in the device (ahead of an outage) and follow the activation process in the Xfinity app.
Comcast says the option is only available in areas within range of an applicable 4G LTE cellular signal.