Comcast adds WiFi parental control, ups Sky bid

July 12, 2018
Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA) has added a new home WiFi parental controls feature to enable parents to set specific time allowances for their ...
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Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA) has added a new home WiFi parental controls feature to enable parents to set specific time allowances for their child's daily WiFi usage at home. The new "Active Time Alerts" feature on the Xfinity xFi platform is designed to notify parents when their child's Internet usage on their home network is approaching their allotted time.

According to a survey commissioned by Comcast and conducted by Wakefield Research of parents indicated that 92% believe their children spend more time on their devices during the summer than any time of the year, and 74% of parents wish they had a way to turn off their child(ren)'s WiFi access whenever they want.

"This latest xFi feature gives parents more visibility and control over their children's online activity at home, which is especially useful during the summer months, when Internet usage spikes," said Eric Schaefer, senior vice president of Internet and communications services for Comcast. "With Xfinity xFi, we are giving customers the ability to personalize their home WiFi experience and providing tools that can help solve real-life problems."

Parents can set up Active Time Alerts by selecting their child's profile within the Xfinity xFi app and set specific weekday and weekend time limits across their child's assigned devices. Once the child is close to reaching the allotted time limit, the parent can choose to receive a push notification, text or email alert and take action by either extending the time or pausing WiFi access altogether.

Xfinity xFi, launched last year, is a WiFi control panel designed to let customers personalize, troubleshoot, monitor and control their home WiFi, including the ability to pause WiFi connectivity by user or device. Comcast says the "pause device" feature has been used about 5 million times since launch, most often between the hours of 6 p.m. and 9 p.m.

In other Comcast news, the company has increased its cash offer for UK-based Sky to £14.75 per share. Comcast's initial offer, proposed in February, was £12.50 per share. In June, Comcast made an offer on portions of 21st Century Fox, which was declined in favor of Disney's previous offer for those same assets.