BT keeps quiet on Wi-Fi sharing talks

Summary:The telco does not deny rumoured tie-in with Wi-Fi-sharing community FON

BT is refusing to comment on reports that it is in talks with the Spanish Wi-Fi sharing network FON.

The telco has recently started promoting the use of Wi-Fi as part of its Fusion fixed/mobile broadband and mobile package. Because Fusion handsets also work in BT's Openzone hotspots, this has allowed BT to establish a mobile network based entirely on unlicensed spectrum.

Now, according to a Reuters article, the company is conducting secret negotiations with FON, a "community" whose users make their home Wi-Fi routers available for public use, thus creating a network of hotspots to which external users can log on for a fee. FON claims to be the largest such network in the world, although many ISPs — including BT — currently discourage its use.

On Monday, a spokesperson for BT told ZDNet UK: "We are interested in broadening our Wi-Fi footprint, but it's early days and we certainly don't have a deal with FON that we can talk about at the moment." The spokesperson also pointed out that BT's Wi-Fi footprint already comprises 2,000 Openzone hotspots, a burgeoning "wireless cities" programme and almost a million wireless home hubs.

If BT and FON do sign a deal, it is thought that those home hubs would be made available for public use, albeit with the consent of the BT subscriber in whose home the hub is installed.

Topics: Networking


David Meyer is a freelance technology journalist. He fell into journalism when he realised his musical career wouldn't be paying many bills. His early journalistic career was spent in general news, working behind the scenes for BBC radio and on-air as a newsreader for independent stations. David's main focus is on communications, of both... Full Bio

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Related Stories

The best of ZDNet, delivered

You have been successfully signed up. To sign up for more newsletters or to manage your account, visit the Newsletter Subscription Center.
Subscription failed.