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BT Calls For FREE Public Wi-Fi Week!
By: MarkJ - 04 December, 2003 (1:00 PM)

BT has called on operators from rival broadband wireless LAN (Wi-Fi) networks to form an alliance and offer free access to everybody for a whole week. The event would occur early next year and be called 'Wireless Broadband Week':

BT CALLS ON Wi-FI industry to join forces for FIRST free nationWIDE Wireless BROADBAND Week

BT today (December 4, 2003) called on other wi-fi operators to join forces and support the UK's first-ever Wireless Broadband Week early next year.

Between January 26 and February 1 2004, anyone with a wi-fi enabled laptop or PDA will be able to register online with BT Openzone and enjoy wireless broadband without time limits for a week free of charge.*1

BT was the first to bring wi-fi to the high street in the UK and now has more than 1,700 BT Openzone-enabled sites, with 4,000 targeted by summer 2004.

Plans for a Wireless Broadband Week were revealed at the first UK event for the Wireless Broadband Alliance, an international group aimed at expanding industry adoption of wi-fi across the globe.

Steve Andrews, managing director, Products and Enterprises at BT, said: "Wi-fi has gone from strength to strength in 2003 and the launch of Wireless Broadband Week will help expose an even greater number of people to the benefits of wireless whether they are emailing friends, surfing the web or accessing corporate files away from the office.

This marks the first national push of wi-fi and I would really urge the industry to get behind Wireless Broadband Week and offer their services free of charge for the entire week.

Between now and Wireless Broadband Week, we will be announcing a series of exciting agreements which will help make wi-fi more accessible to business and recreational users throughout the UK,
" added Andrews.

As well as the 1,700 access points available for Openzone customers in the UK, users can log on at sites in Europe and the United States following roaming agreements with TeliaSonera and Airpath Wireless Inc.

At the Wireless Broadband Alliance event, Kyong Yu, Chair of the WBA, announced eight new members of the Alliance, including Telecom Italia, Telecoms Asia Corporation (Thailand), and T-Mobile in Austria, Czech Republic, Germany and the Netherlands. The Alliance also confirmed its current technical roaming trial between Telstra (Australia), China Netcom, Maxis (Malaysia) and StarHub (Singapore) would be expanded until March 2004 to allow new partners to take part.

To find their nearest BT Openzone site, users can log on to bt.com, dial BT Directory Enquiries on 118 500, access the 118500.co.uk web site or visit the Scoot Channels.


*1 This offer applies to existing and new users for seven days from January 26, 2004. Users will be able to access BT Openzone free of charge for a duration of seven days from registration during Wireless Broadband Week. For example, if a new user registers for an account on February 1, 2004, access will be free for seven days from the date of registration.


Free broadband wireless Internet access; can't say we're complaining ;) .


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