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BT & FON Launch Worlds Largest Wi-Fi Community

Posted: 04th Oct, 2007 By: MarkJ
UPDATE: One of BT's staffers let us know that usage of the FON service will not count against a 'Total Broadband' customers bandwidth allowance.

We also added a link to the BTFon page at the bottom of this news item.


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BT has teamed up with FON's Wi-Fi sharing service to launch the imaginatively titled, BT FON. Using this, BT intends to invite its 3 million+ Total Broadband customers to join the global community of people sharing their broadband via FON's Wi-Fi service:

At launch, new members will be part of an existing community of 500,000 members and will have access to more than 190,000 FON hotspots worldwide. Anyone joining in will be able to use those FON hotspots across the world and all the new BT FON hotspots free of charge.

The revolutionary idea for a massive Wi-Fi community, built by individual people and not a large corporate enterprise, marks BT’s boldest step yet in building extensive broadband coverage outside of the home or office.

Every person who agrees to share a small portion of their home broadband connection, by opening up a separate, secure channel on their wireless router, will be able to share the connection of any other member. BT Total Broadband customers will also be able to use BT’s premium existing hotspot network BT Openzone, including 12 Wireless Cities.

BT FON aims to build a huge community Wi-Fi network, covering hundreds of thousands of hotspots, in a short space of time, under the slogan “Wi-Fi for everyone, I’m in”. The secure open Wi-Fi solution was developed by FON and BT’s research labs. BT has invested in FON as part of the tie-in, joining the company’s other investors, which include Google. BT will also have a seat on the board of FON.

Interestingly BT don't appear too concerned about a possible clash with their existing Wi-Fi Hotspot services via BTOpenzone, instead expecting the FON access to "compliment" it.

It's an exciting move, though customers would also need to be mindful of any additional bandwidth consumption on their connection. Further details can be found here: http://www.btfon.com .
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