The idea of providing a wireless hot-spot in your reception area or small cafe would appear to be easier now if you use the BT Business Total broadband packages. Back in 2007 residential BT Retail customers who have the Home Hub were given the option of creating a wireless channel that was separate to their normal residential wireless network. Now business customers have the option.
The BT Retail press release points out that the 170,000 business customers using a BT Business 2700 Total Broadband Hub should receive a firmware upgrade in the next couple of months at which point they will be invited to switch on the Wi-Fi hotspot feature.
Some businesses may be concerned that this would affect their own broadband connection and speed or possibly leave their network vulnerable to security attacks. The service however acts like a separate broadband connection through the Business Hub and gives priority to the BT Business Broadband customer's data. A new version of the BT Business Hub will be launched in July and this will have the hot-spot capability pre-enabled, allowing customers to opt-out if they don't want to act as an Openzone.
The people who will be able to access this hot-spot are anyone buying access time via BT Openzone, or people with a subscription plan or roaming agreement. Additionally those people signed to the BT FON system at another location will also be able to use this connection. The payback for opening up this hot-spot is that the business will receive a number of inclusive wireless minutes ranging from 50 minutes to 500 minutes a month depending on the product they buy from BT Retail.
The BT FON Wi-Fi community has more than 70,000 members which means access to Wi-Fi when out and about is becoming a lot easier. To find out where the FON hot spots are you can use maps.fon.com, alternately the BT Openzone hotspots can be located using the search system at www.btopenzone.com.
One BT Openzone hotspot that you won't be able to drive or walk to is the one located on the Byford Dolphin which is an oil rig in the North Sea which has launched as a full service for people working on the rig who want internet access in their off-duty time.