BT to allow business customers to create own hotspots

22 Apr 2008

BT Business Total Broadband customers may turn their premises into wireless broadband (Wi-Fi) hotspots, expanding the range of services they offer to customers and visitors, and potentially creating a new revenue stream. For the first time in the UK, businesses with a Total Broadband subscription can turn their connection into a BT Openzone wireless hotspot at no cost. This will allow anyone visiting the premises to log on to a separate secure internet channel to check e-mail, surf the web, use internet-enabled applications and make VoIP calls. Businesses may even choose to sell BT Openzone vouchers to allow their visitors to use the service.

The service will give Wi-Fi access to other BT Business Total Broadband customers using their inclusive BT Openzone minutes, plus BT Openzone subscribers (including roaming partners) and BT consumer Total Broadband customers who are members of the BT FON Wi-Fi community. BT Business Total Broadband customers currently receive an inclusive number of BT Openzone wireless minutes, ranging from 50 to 500 a month depending on the option and contract. These can be used at more than 2,500 BT Openzone Premier hotspots at locations such as hotels, airports and railway stations, the twelve UK wireless city centres, including Newcastle, Liverpool and Westminster, the hotspots provided by the BT FON Wi-Fi community, and at any of the new BT Business Total Broadband enabled hotspots.

The 170,000 existing BT Business Total Broadband customers with a BT Business 2700 Total Broadband Hub will be invited to switch the Wi-Fi hotspot feature on following a firmware upgrade this quarter. A new version of the BT Business Hub will be launched in July, with the hotspot capability already enabled and giving customers the choice to opt-out of the service.