Bulldog Communications has become the first UK broadband operator to team up with MyZones and launch a product that lets its customers share their high-speed connection wirelessly.
The partnership with MyZones, announced on Monday, will allow new Bulldog customers who pay for a 1Mbps or faster broadband connection to split it with their neighbours through a secure wireless network. This will let small groups of people cut the cost of getting a faster broadband connection, although as a consequence their surfing speeds will drop if several users try and connect to the Web at the same time.
“We’re giving computer users across the country a simple way in to wireless home networking with a package that’s easy-to-use, powerful and highly competitive,” said Richard Greco, chief executive of Bulldog Communications. “While some in the industry are frightened by shared access via Wi-Fi, we believe it has an essential part to play in making broadband Britain a reality for all.”
This service, which costs an additional £99.99 (inc.VAT), is available to new Bulldog customers who choose a connection between 1Mbps and 6Mbps, and buy a Netgear DM602 modem for £23.49 (inc. VAT). In return for the £99.99 fee they will also get a Netgear ME103 ProSafe Wireless Access Point and a year's subscription to MyZones.
As ZDNet UK reported in May, MyZones claims that its service makes it easy for consumers to set up and manage a secure wireless home network, to share the connection, and to access wireless when on the move.
After a year, users will have to decide whether or not to continue with their MyZones subscription -- currently costing £4.99 (inc. VAT) per month -- in order to get customer support for their home Wi-Fi network and access to the wireless networks of other MyZones customers.
This new product from Bulldog is most likely to appeal to groups of users who typically access the Internet at different times of the day. In theory, three families living in adjacent flats could split a 1Mbps broadband connection and pay less than £10 per month each. But as contention ratios mean that this connection would probably already be slower at peak surfing time, if all three families were trying to surf simultaneously then the bandwidth available to each could be rather low.