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ASA rules BT Wi-Fi service works with invisible routers

OpenZone does work - it's just a bit shy

The smart choice: opportunity from uncertainty

The Advertising Standards Authority has ruled that BT's Wi-Fi network does extend into open spaces, even if the router isn't visible in the adverts.

Despite running adverts showing people happily surfing the internet in the open air BT has successfully argued that every one of them was within 25 metres of an OpenZone or BT Fon hotspot, which was just off camera in each case.

Two people complained about the TV campaign, which highlighting the fact that BT's ADSL customers get free access to the operator's Wi-Fi networks by showing customers outside a pub, in the park, at a bus stop and in a football ground car park, all with decent Wi-Fi connectivity. The substance of the complaint was that Wi-Fi doesn't work like that, and the advert was therefore misleading.

BT argued that that pub's Wi-Fi would stretch, even into the park, and that many bus stations were near BT phone boxes which host OpenZone spots. The football ground car park, we're told, might be near a residential block of flats containing a BT Fon site, so users in every situation could reasonably expect Wi-Fi to be available.

The ASA found that argument convincing, and the complaints were rejected. ®

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