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FON and BT

I didn’t write anything about the announcement that BT is partnering with FON to allow BT Total Broadband users to open their wireless connection to other FON users in exchange for free connectivity at lots of wireless hotspots. Although BT’s PR agency kindly invited me along to the launch, I was already feeling under the weather, so missed it.

What’s interesting is whether enough BT customers will take up the offer in order to make WiFi access far more ubiquitous than it is at present. With BT the country’s biggest ISP, the potential is there.

And that has a lot of implications, not just for BT but for the whole country. The biggest problem facing devices like the iPhone or N95 is the lack of public WiFi coverage, and if even 10% of BT’s customers take up the FON offer, that will add up to a lot more wireless spots. What’s more, as they’re in residential homes, they’re more likely to be in the more out-of-the-way areas which commercial spots like The Cloud and BT’s own Openzone don’t cover.

(Disclosure: I work on the BT account at Redwood)

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