I’m very glad to announce BT FON, the WiFi community we built with BT, has now more than 100,000 members in the UK. This is a great confirmation of how FON is great for telcos and ISPs and how fast Fon can grow thanks to deals like the ones with BT, Neuf or the most recent with Comstar.

BT, one of the world’s most innovative telecom operators, has partnered with FON because it understands the value that FON gives to its customers. We integrated FON into BT’s broadband platform, allowing BT users to share their Wi-Fi like the rest of us and have access to all BT FON hotspots, 3,000 BT Openzone hotspots, BT’s UK wireless cities, and Fon’s global network of hotspots. Of course, all our Foneros can access BT FON hotspots in the UK for free.

This is the press release by BT:

BT today announced that it has attracted over 100,000 members in the UK to BT FON, the world’s largest Wi-Fi community, where members share their broadband connection to establish a network of wireless hotspots. BT has also been recognised for its success with the BT FON community project, launched with its partner Fon, by being named the most Innovative Wireless Broadband Company by the 2008 Wireless Broadband Innovation Awards.

Since the launch of BT FON in October last year, 100,000 BT Total Broadband customers have come together to join the BT FON community, creating thousands of new Wi-Fi hotspots up and down the country.

In addition to the BT FON network in the UK, BT Total Broadband customers that join the BT FON community can access 3,000 BT Openzone hotspots at locations such as hotels, airports and railway stations, BT’s 13 UK wireless cities, and Fon’s global network of 190,000 hotspots. This provides BT Total Broadband customers with unrivalled Wi-Fi coverage across the UK and the rest of the world, allowing even more customers to experience the benefits of broadband both at home and when out and about.

Every BT customer that joins the BT FON community agrees to share a small portion of their home broadband connection, by opening up a separate, secure channel on their wireless router – the BT Home Hub. They are then able to use, free of charge, the BT FON hotspots of other members, BT Openzone hotspots, BT’s UK wireless cities, and Fon hotspots around the world.

Jon Hurry, Director Internet Services, Consumer, said: “It’s great to see BT Total Broadband customers joining forces to set up a people’s Wi-Fi network across the UK. BT has been instrumental in creating Broadband Britain, and we have built on that by calling upon entire communities to come together to create a Wi-Fi network that covers the country, driven entirely by local broadband users.

“We’ve already built extensive Wi-Fi coverage across the UK with BT Openzone and 13 Wireless Cities, but with more people signing up to BT FON everyday, Wi-Fi coverage in the UK is set to get better and better.”

Customers that sign up to BT Total Broadband Anywhere automatically join the BT FON community. Broadband Anywhere is the new all-inclusive broadband package from BT which offers customers a free, internet enabled Smartphone – the BT ToGo – for just £5 more per month than the price of BT Total Broadband Option 3. Today’s announcement means that Broadband Anywhere customers can enjoy unlimited access at even more wireless hotspots around the UK, allowing them to surf the web, email, make calls and text, both at home and out and about.

BT Total Broadband customers that are interested in joining the BT FON community can visit www.bt.com/btfon for more information about how to sign up. Customers can also visit the website to obtain a view of their local BT FON network. By simply entering a postcode, they can find the nearest BT FON or BT Openzone hotspots near to their home and to other places of interest. To encourage other people in their area to join the BT FON community and give their local Wi-Fi network an extra boost, promotional materials such as posters are also available to members to download from the website.

Customers who want to connect to broadband via BT FON while abroad can also visit the website to find Fon hotspots in other countries around the world.

From the summer, non-BT Total Broadband customers in the UK will also be able to join the BT FON community by purchasing FON’s Wi-Fi router, La Fonera.

Follow Martin Varsavsky on Twitter: twitter.com/martinvars

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Mariano Marcos on June 4, 2008  · 


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