Feeds

BT OpenZone: Is it or isn't it?

Hotspot controversy stoked by ambiguity

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

BT's decision to upgrade every BT Business Hub, enabling them to operate as OpenZone hotspots, has been controversial - the fact that the company seems unable to decide if users are being opted into or out of the system can only make things worse.

The email sent to customers seems pretty explicit, stating clearly that "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". But after we covered the story, BT got in touch to tell us that "Existing customers were mailed a firmware upgrade to ask them to CHOOSE whether they want to upgrade their hub to a hotspot" - which neither matches the text of the original mail sent to customers, nor corresponds to the experience of our readers.

Everyone does agree that new customers will be issued with a router that already has the OpenZone hotspot enabled, but the question of what happens to existing users remains open.

That upgrade is, obviously, not mailed to customers but automatically comes overnight as described in the email which instructs customers to leave the router powered up for a few nights to make sure it's received. Several Reg readers report that once they had received the upgrade the OpenZone function was enabled by default - so if they had done nothing they would be sharing their network access.

BT is at pains to point out that OpenZone traffic is low priority, and that OpenZone users won't impact on the customer's bandwidth cap; the telco even has an FAQ on the subject, but many customers are still upset to be providing OpenZone with free hotspots despite assurances from BT that such connections will be secure.

We've asked BT for clarification, a couple of times, but the company is still pondering the matter and hopefully will get back to us soon; we'll update you when we can. ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
Brit telcos warn Scots that voting Yes could lead to HEFTY bills
BT and Co: Independence vote likely to mean 'increased costs'
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
New 'Cosmos' browser surfs the net by TXT alone
No data plan? No WiFi? No worries ... except sluggish download speed
Radio hams can encrypt, in emergencies, says Ofcom
Consultation promises new spectrum and hints at relaxed licence conditions
Turnbull: NBN won't turn your town into Silicon Valley
'People have been brainwashed to believe that their world will be changed forever if they get FTTP'
Blockbuster book lays out the first 20 years of the Smartphone Wars
Symbian's David Wood bares all. Not for the faint hearted
Bonking with Apple has POUNDED mobe operators' wallets
... into submission. Weve squeals, ditches payment plans
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL
Discussing the vulnerabilities inherent in Wi-Fi networks, and how using TLS/SSL for your entire site will assure security.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.