BT outsources hotspot provision to customers but doesn't tell them

BT has been promoting how many Wi-Fi hotspots it will have in place in London in time for the Olympic Games which start in July.

A press release circulated by BT claimed it was close to achieving its goal of 500,000 public hotspots in London by the start of the Games, with more than 475,000 already available.

However a large proportion belong to existing businesses and home users. Using a feature called Fon, BT siphons off a portion of bandwidth from the wireless connections it provides to homes and offices in order to give the public as a pay as you surf Wi-Fi hotspot.

My colleague wrote an interesting stoy about it. See it here.

I am a BT customer and I don’t have an issue with what it is doing in terms of sharing out broadband because I don’t think there will be too much demand for mine, with the parking restrictions and all. Also apparently the private and public signals are kept seperate and customers get a shre of revenues. 

But others probably do have an issue with it, especially given the fact that you have to opt out of Fon, which is automatically enabled when you get a BT Broadband account.

But it is rather cheeky claiming that it has worked tirelessly to put all these hotspots in when they have been there for ages.

So it is in effect outsourcing its wireless hotspots to its customers. Genius. Shame it hasn’t told the customers.