BT partners with Fon to create UK Wi-Fi sharing network

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btbroadband.jpgIn a surprising move, BT has partnered with Spanish firm Fon, giving their blessing (and resources) to the public Wi-Fi sharing service.

It’s surprising because it was believed that some ISPs would be against Fon’s ethos, given that broadband customers are effectively opening up their home network and sharing it with other people, raising both security and contractual issues.

In fact, BT sounds quite excited about it, with BT’s MD, Gavin Patterson, saying that they hoped to create “the people’s network of Wi-Fi, that could one day cover every street in Britain.”

What it means is that BT customers will be able to share a small portion of their home broadband connection by opening up a separate secure channel on their wireless router.

With free signup to the Fon service, users can also get free access to BTs Openzone hotspots.

“If they are prepared to securely share a little of their broadband, they can share the broadband at hundreds of thousands of Fon and BT Openzone hotspots today, without paying a penny,” said Mr Patterson.

It’s not clear exactly how much bandwidth can be allocated by any one BT subscriber, but it could be a deal for those travelling, provided they can find these hotspots, and if they’re on BT’s “unlimited” broadband option.

(Via BBC News)

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Andy Merrett