Feeds

BT OpenZone: Is it or isn't it?

Hotspot controversy stoked by ambiguity

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications

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. ®

Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable

More from The Register

next story
Google Nest, ARM, Samsung pull out Thread to strangle ZigBee
But there's a flaw in Google's IP-based IoT system
Orange spent weekend spamming customers with TXTs
Zero, not infinity, is the Magic Number customers want
Want to beat Verizon's slow Netflix? Get a VPN
Exec finds stream speed climbs when smuggled out
US freemium mobile network eyes up Europe
FreedomPop touts 'free' calls, texts and data
'Two-speed internet' storm turns FCC.gov into zero-speed website
Deadline for comments on net neutrality shake-up extended to Friday
GoTenna: How does this 'magic' work?
An ideal product if you believe the Earth is flat
NBN Co execs: No FTTN product until 2015
Faster? Not yet. Cheaper? No data
prev story

Whitepapers

Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
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.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.