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BT Bring Guest WiFi to UK Businesses via SmartHub Broadband Router

Thursday, April 5th, 2018 (12:59 pm) - Score 3,195
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Users of BT’s small business broadband ISP packages, specifically those that have been supplied with one of their ADSL2+ and VDSL2 equipped Smart Hub 6 routers, can now access a new Guest Wi-Fi feature that allows them to provide their customers with free unlimited access to BT Wi-Fi.

The new service claims to boost security by providing WiFi access to guest users over a secure network “which is entirely separate from the company’s private network” (they’re talking about the wireless / internet layer here because all of the data will still flow back down the same fixed line cable). “There is no need for businesses to share their password and log-in details with customers to access Wi-Fi over their private network,” noted the operator.

The Guest Wi-Fi service, once activated, will also automatically “block any malicious or illegal content” (i.e. those that it can identify), without the need to carry out any additional configuration work. On top of that BT claims that “business broadband performance is also enhanced as the Guest Wi-Fi service prioritises the bandwidth allocated to a company’s private network” (obviously it’s not going to magically squeeze extra speed out of an existing ADSL2+ or VDSL2 / FTTC line).

Broadly speaking this sounds a lot like the FON solution that already exists inside BT’s residential broadband routers, which similarly creates a separate public (guest) WiFi network that existing customers of the operator’s communication services can connect with when nearby.

Mike Tomlinson, MD of SMEs for BT Business and Public Sector, said:

“Everyone, everywhere, now expects to get online for free when they’re out and about and making purchases. We’ve listened to the concerns of small businesses, who in many cases were providing a free Wi-Fi service to their customers by sharing their password details.

We’re addressing the cyber security and legal risks of doing so by providing a Guest Wi-Fi service which is completely ring-fenced from companies’ private networks. Small firms benefit from greater security, content controls and better broadband performance, while at the same time giving their customers a faster, more convenient and secure way to get online with every visit to the business.”

Guest users will not be asked to enter their details or complete long arduous forms to access the Wi-Fi service. It can be accessed automatically via the BT Wi-Fi App for existing customers, while others can simply connect to the Wi-Fi network and click “Get Online” when prompted via the splash page.

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Mark Jackson
By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on Twitter, , Facebook and Linkedin.
Leave a Comment
5 Responses
  1. Avatar Juan

    Zen have had this for at least a year with the FRITZ!Box

  2. Avatar Meadmodj

    Correct nothing new. BT Hubs broadcast both a BT FON and BT WIFI X SSID unless the home owner unsubscribes from BT WIFI. These SSIDs are separated from the home owners side of the router. Access to BT WIFI normally is via their BT ID and Password. BT FON is an open SSID with browser page authentication. BT WIFI X requires a certificate and hence requires the BT WIFI app.

    What is new is that BT appear to have modified the BT WIFI access to allow user Guest User IDs to be associated with the relevant business customer. A far better solution for guest wifi in small businesses, B&Bs etc without using an additional router for their private network.

  3. Avatar Paul

    Do make sure you opt out of this, rather than allowing BT to sell part of the bandwidth you pay them for.

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