Feeds

Barclays: So sorry about LIBOR... How about some free Wi-Fi?

1,500 branches to become coffee shops minus the coffee, food and tables

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

BT is putting free Wi-Fi into 1,500 branches of Barclays Bank - presumably so that impatient customers can do some online banking while queuing for a teller.

Barclays can easily afford its £290m fine for attempting to rig the global borrowing-rate benchmark LIBOR, and thus it can easily pay for the new wireless service. Perhaps it's hoped the move will foster loyalty, although it's hard to imagine that camping within reach of the wireless connectivity will lead one to do more banking.

But more connectivity is always welcomed if only because it competes with the mobile operators and benefits disruptive players such as Devicescape, which makes use of free Wi-Fi networks to replicate cellular infrastructure. Another 1,500 high-street locations is a good thing, therefore.

It's still small potatoes to The Cloud, which offers 16,000 locations around the UK, and today announced that Americans with an AT&T contract will get free use of those while visiting Blightly. They'll only get 1GB of data, though, capped each month and subject to a charge if they want more, which is odd considering how few of The Cloud's hotspots bill for use these days.

But visitors won't notice, and may be grateful they signed up to AT&T's Data Global Add-On package which bundles the connectivity along with an app to help make use of it.

Wi-Fi networking is increasingly becoming part of the cellular mix, and once Hotspot 2 is widely deployed, wireless connectivity is going to increase dramatically. Hotspot 2 will allow phones and other gadgets to roam onto Wi-Fi networks as though they were cellular networks, and use SIM-based authentication to ensure they are billed correctly depending on their tariff and bundles.

But that's for the future: for the moment it's just more free Wi-Fi for anyone hanging around a branch of Barclays, ideal regardless if one is waiting in a queue or just casing the joint. ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

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
EE buys 58 Phones 4u stores for £2.5m after picking over carcass
Operator says it will safeguard 359 jobs, plans lick of paint
Radio hams can encrypt, in emergencies, says Ofcom
Consultation promises new spectrum and hints at relaxed licence conditions
Google+ GOING, GOING ... ? Newbie Gmailers no longer forced into mandatory ID slurp
Mountain View distances itself from lame 'network thingy'
Vodafone to buy 140 Phones 4u stores from stricken retailer
887 jobs 'preserved' in the process, says administrator PwC
Bonking with Apple has POUNDED mobe operators' wallets
... into submission. Weve squeals, ditches payment plans
Drag queens: Oh, don't be so bitchy, Facebook! Let us use our stage names
Handbags at dawn over free content ad network's ID policy
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
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?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.