Comcast Goes Nationwide With XFi Pod Wi-Fi Extenders

thiggins

Mr. Easy
Staff member
xFi-Pods-Kitchen.jpg
Comcast today announced nationwide availability for its xFi Pod Wi-Fi extenders. The company had previously trialed the devices in limited markets late last year.

The Pods act as Wi-Fi extenders, working with select Comcast xFi gateways (Arris TG1682G, Cisco 3941T, Arris TG3482G, Technicolor CGM4140COM, according to this FAQ) to extend Wi-Fi to weak signal areas.

Comcast says the Pods work with the gateways to "continuously monitor and optimize Wi-Fi connections to each device", using a remote management platform hosted in Comcast's cloud.

The Pods are based on technology licensed from mesh Wi-Fi startup Plume. According to TechCrunch, "Comcast licensed the Plume technology, then reconfigured some aspects of it in order to integrate xFi. It also designed its own pods in-house". It's not clear whether the current xFi Pods are Comcast's new design or Plume's existing one.

Plume also appears to be soldiering ahead with its own business, teasing a SuperPod "arriving Spring 2018" on its own site. Comcast invested in Plume last year and took a seat on its board.

xFi Pods are sold in three-packs for $119 or in six-packs for $199 either online or in Xfinity stores.

[Full press release]
 
Last edited:

Razor512

Senior Member
If they have not significantly updated the specs, wouldn't it be an issue since it would effectively bottleneck all but their entry level speed tier?
 

thiggins

Mr. Easy
Staff member
If they have not significantly updated the specs, wouldn't it be an issue since it would effectively bottleneck all but their entry level speed tier?
Updated what specs? The Plume radios?

An individual device is unlikely to need 100+ Mbps. This is more about extending usable coverage to dead spots. Most users are going to be happy if their Netflix/YouTube/Hulu stream doesn't glitch. That takes only 5 Mbps or so,.
 

Easy Rhino

Regular Contributor
i dont' think Comcast cares too much about their customers using all of the bandwidth they buy.

after all, dombining gigabit internet with a 1 Terabyte monthly data cap would mean running at full throttle for 3 hours.

Comcast is probably mainly worried about reducing the amount of support calls they get.
 

thiggins

Mr. Easy
Staff member
Yes, they're trying to reduce truck rolls, primarily.
 

nord_musician

Occasional Visitor
Reminds me of a comcast employee knocking on my door the a week ago or so, trying to sell me the idea of ditching Fios in exchange of getting xfinity :D he was discusing I don't need symmetrical upload speeds and telling me to no expect comcast to go FTTH because they wont since it costs them too much :D funny guy
 

tannebil

Regular Contributor
The xFi pods gets discussed a bit over in the Comcast forum. The changes appear to be in the firmware. As I recall, the two big differences are 1) the Plume and Comcast pods do not interoperate, and 2) the Comcast pods do not support wireless backhaul.

If I was a “normal” Comcast customer and wanted better “good enough” coverage in my house, I’d definitely give them a go. But since I have bigger dreams, I will stick with my Plume pods.

I was thinking about adding the SuperPod but I upgraded to Comcast XFi with an X6 modem/router and it has been pretty good (so far) so the SuperPod will need to offer some compelling features for me to upgrade.
 

tannebil

Regular Contributor
Reminds me of a comcast employee knocking on my door the a week ago or so, trying to sell me the idea of ditching Fios in exchange of getting xfinity :D he was discusing I don't need symmetrical upload speeds and telling me to no expect comcast to go FTTH because they wont since it costs them too much :D funny guy
Likely it was not actually a Comcast employee. The Comcast door knockers and cold callers tend to be from companies that just have a sales relationship have minimal knowledge about the products they are selling.

Although this guy was most likely right about FTTH. Everybody that’s made a run at FTTH has basically failed from a business perspective. I suspect that the economics might work in a green field, monopoly situation but Comcast seems a lot more interested in gigabit cable upgrades than pulling new fiber for existing coverage areas. The only time I hear them talking about fiber is for business offerings.
 

thiggins

Mr. Easy
Staff member
If it is the same hardware, the pod has neither power line nor MoCA interfaces.
 

tannebil

Regular Contributor
Could it be MOCA? The X6 box has built in MOCA and when they installed an X6 at my home they insisted I needed a MOCA filter at the ground block to prevent data flowing to my neighbors.
The X6 has MoCA built-in and MoCA is used for their whole house DVR. If you don't have it, they might just do it by default on a new install. I did a self-install with mine.

I actually use MoCA backhaul with a couple of my Plume pods but there is a little gotcha. If the power in interrupted to the MoCA adapter, the pod fails over to wireless and then fails back to wired with the power is restored. Sounds great in theory but, in practice, WiFi can be a bit uneven while the transitions are occurring. It clears up with time but it's annoying.
 

Sign Up For SNBForums Daily Digest

Get an update of what's new every day delivered to your mailbox. Sign up here!
Top