Comcast is launching Xfinity Wi-Fi, which offers broadband access at “thousands” of Wi-Fi hotspots across Comcast’s footprint. Xfinity Wi-Fi includes a series of new hotspots in the Northeast, particularly in their home turf of Philadelphia, but also includes roaming agreements with Cablevision and Time Warner Cable for access to a broader Wi-Fi footprint.

Xfinity Wi-Fi access is free to Comcast broadband customers. “With the explosion of wireless Internet devices, new platforms and apps, consumers are increasingly looking to enjoy entertainment and communications on the go,” said Cathy Avgiris, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Communications and Data Services for Comcast Cable.

Comcast joins several other broadband carriers, large and small, who offer Wi-Fi access as a value add for their home broadband service. It’s a part of a strategy to offer a branded broadband service in as many locations as possible, extending the broadband experience outside of the home.

Since there isn’t a smartphone or tablet computer made today without Wi-Fi access, offering Wi-Fi can add value to home broadband products. Most large broadband carriers including AT&T and Verizon already do.