Feeds

BT reprograms biz customers as hotspots

Bandwidth so good they're charging for it twice

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

BT has begun transforming its commercial customers' Business Hubs into OpenZone hotspots for any passing Tom, Dick or Harry to share, and leaving businesses to figure out how to opt out of the scheme after the fact.

Under the scheme, 20,000 BT Business Broadband customers have already had their hubs upgraded, with another 200,000 being seconded into the OpenZone network over the next few months.

BT assures us that everyone received a notification e-mail providing details of how to opt out of the sharing arrangement.

The e-mail sent out to business customers explains that the hub will receive an overnight upgrade, warning the user to leave it switched on and so forth, before slipping in the exciting news, at paragraph four, that following the upgrade total strangers will be able to share their bandwidth:

"After the upgrade BT Openzone will be ENABLED, offering your visitors and customers secure, public wireless internet access using your Hub as a BT Openzone wireless hotspot."

BT reckons this is just want businesses want: they'll be able to resell OpenZone vouchers to visitors and make a few quid, as well as sharing their bandwidth with all and sundry.

We spoke to BT who passed on a press release that was apparently sent out to selected media (El Reg comms editor excluded, natch) at the end of January.

"Free BT public wi-fi hotspot for every business broadband customer" claims the release, proudly suggesting that "Hub owners buy BT Openzone access vouchers ... and can choose to pass the vouchers to their customers or resell the prime business service and add revenue", so you can either screw visitors to your office by selling them vouchers, or pay BT twice for the same bandwidth by giving them away.

BT claims the OpenZone users are securely separated from local users, and has the experience of Fon to back that up. But hitting customers twice for the same bandwidth is certainly a new low for the former-monopoly telco.

BT does offer instructions for turning off the hotspot, and the company isn't expecting customers to share their bandwidth for nothing. Assuming you don't disable the hotspot then you get entered into a prize draw and could be the lucky owner of an iPod Touch (8GB), or even a few hours of free OpenZone access - which might be useful if you're visiting a company that wants to sell you access.

Reg reader Tim was not convinced, telling us "I wouldn’t mind so much if we didn’t get such a paltry speed from our BT connection. Well, no, actually I would still mind then too."®

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

More from The Register

next story
6 Obvious Reasons Why Facebook Will Ban This Article (Thank God)
Clampdown on clickbait ... and El Reg is OK with this
So, Apple won't sell cheap kit? Prepare the iOS garden wall WRECKING BALL
It can throw the low cost race if it looks to the cloud
EE fails to apologise for HUGE T-Mobile outage that hit Brits on Friday
Customer: 'Please change your name to occasionally somewhere'
Time Warner Cable customers SQUEAL as US network goes offline
A rude awakening: North Americans greeted with outage drama
Shoot-em-up: Sony Online Entertainment hit by 'large scale DDoS attack'
Games disrupted as firm struggles to control network
We need less U.S. in our WWW – Euro digital chief Steelie Neelie
EC moves to shift status quo at Internet Governance Forum
BT customers face broadband and landline price hikes
Poor punters won't be affected, telecoms giant claims
prev story

Whitepapers

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Backing up Big Data
Solving backup challenges and “protect everything from everywhere,” as we move into the era of big data management and the adoption of BYOD.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?