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SMEs offered free Wi-Fi hotspot with broadband subscription

Joe O'Halloran

In a move that is designed to extend the flexibility and adaptability of firms, especially small to medium sized enterprises (SMEs), BT has launched a broadband package that also provides a free public Wi-Fi hotspot.

BT sees this as perfect for SMEs such as restaurants, hotels, cafes, doctors’ and dentists’ waiting rooms whereby the hotspot is enabled automatically in the broadband hub at no extra cost. Hub owners buy Openzone access vouchers and can choose to pass the vouchers to their customers or resell the prime business service.

Users can access the network via a separate, secure internet channel at broadband speeds. Within the hub, the owner’s traffic is always prioritised and the owner and guest wireless network identifiers (SSIDs) are separately listed for security. Those who wish to switch off the hotspot capability can do so using a hub management tool located on their desktops.  
 
Explaining the rationale for the move, Bill Murphy, managing director BT Business said, “Offering Wi-Fi adds value and is good customer service. It can also allow businesses to make incremental revenue. The service is helping our customers stay online and keep productive during these times.”

20,000 existing BT customers have already received firmware to enable the hotspot in their Business Hubs and BT predicts that a further 200,000 will receive the upgrade in the first quarter of 2009.
   


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