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BT Part Fixes InLink Kiosk Problem – Rebrands to Street Hubs

Thursday, April 23rd, 2020 (8:37 am) - Score 3,604
inlinkuk_kiosk_bt

BT has partly resolved an issue that left many of their InLink UK smart WiFi broadband kiosks without a working tablet or free phone calling functionality (feedback from ISPreview.co.uk readers suggests this has been going on for over a week). The units have also been rebranded to “Street Hubs.

Just to recap. The BT supported InLinkUK service was first launched in summer 2017. Since then 494 kiosks have been rolled out across 23 UK cities. All of these claimed to offer 1Gbps capable public WiFi (shared capacity), free UK phone calls, USB device charging and a range of other digital services to people in the vicinity. A large HD display on the side is also used to carry advertising, which helped to fund the units.

NOTE: The Street Hubs also form part of a project to replace some of BT’s old payphones.

Unfortunately the company created to deploy and manage the kiosks alongside BT, Intersection and advertising firm Primesight – InLink Limited (recently renamed to IL REALISATIONS LIMITED) – last year called in the administrators (here). In response BT reached a deal at the end of 2019 to bring all of the kiosks under their full ownership (here).

However last week some of our readers emailed in to report that many of the operator’s InLink kiosks in various locations, such as central London, had not worked properly for over a week, with key features such phone calling being unavailable. Instead a message on the kiosks indicated that BT were “doing vital upgrades,” which some began to doubt after the issue continued on for a protracted period of time.

The good news is that at least some of these services should now be back online and BT has also re-branded the kiosks to call them “Street Hubs“.

A BT Spokesperson told ISPreview.co.uk:

“We recently had to temporarily disable the tablet and free phone call functionality on our Street Hub (formerly InLink) units while we carried out some essential maintenance work. The free ultrafast Wi-Fi and other services such as device charging were available as normal during this period.

The free phone call services have now been fully restored across the entire Street Hub network, and we’re working hard to restore the tablet functionality as soon as possible. We apologise for any temporary inconvenience caused.”

We should point that the “tablet functionality” includes interactive access to things like the phone book, charity telephone numbers, maps and information about the local area. Sadly BT didn’t say how long it would take to bring those back into service, although the COVID-19 crisis probably isn’t helping.

Leave a Comment
4 Responses
  1. Avatar Michael V says:

    Are there any details on usage? Are the street hubs really used?

    1. Mark Jackson Mark Jackson says:

      You can find some in articles on this site from last year, but I’m too short on time to dig those out today.

    2. Avatar Michael V says:

      @Mark. Thank you. I’ll have a look.

  2. Avatar RaptorX says:

    Who uses these in the era of smartphones? They sound like an expensive waste of time.

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