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Wi-Fi gets wider with BT Total Broadband as O2 rations 3G


“We thought rationing ended in the 50s”, says BT

BT today announced unlimited access to 1.5 million BT FON and BT Openzone

Wi-Fi hotspots across the UK for millions of BT Total Broadband users, including O2’s mobile customers who are about to have their 3G access rationed as they upgrade to new devices. BT’s move ensures that millions of people with smartphones, laptops, netbooks and burgeoning numbers of tablet computers, such as the iPad, can still have fast, reliable internet access when away from the home or office.

BT FON is a rapidly expanding Wi-Fi community of people who can take their broadband with them by sharing access securely with other BT FON members when out and about across the UK. BT Openzone is a Wi-Fi service that can be accessed in places such as airports, hotels, coffee shops, motorway service stations and city centres. Such is the scale of these networks’ combined hotspots BT is now in the unique position of being able to offer Wi-Fi access in locations across the UK.

Previously, BT Total Broadband users had limits on Wi-Fi minutes available to use at BT FON and BT Openzone hotspots depending on their BT Total Broadband option. Recognising the growing need for internet access on the move, BT has now decided to offer unlimited Wi-Fi access across all BT Total Broadband options, to further consolidate as the UK’s most complete broadband.

John Petter, consumer managing director, for BT Retail, said: “Because of the growing number of BT customers with mobile devices such as tablet computers and smartphones, we know that mobile access to the internet is needed more than ever before. Now that operators like O2 are rationing 3G, BT Total Broadband customers can find fast Wi-Fi connections all over the UK’s towns and cities with unlimited internet access from 1.5 million hotspots.

“Our BT Fon and BT Openzone networks expanded by 800,000 hotspots during 2009 and we expect to have over 2.5m hotspots by the end of 2011. This continuing level of expansion means that these networks are rapidly becoming the simplest way for people to access the internet when out and about. And not only is this level of Wi-Fi coverage unique to BT, it’s automatically included with our BT Total Broadband options.”

BT will shortly unveil a downloadable application for BT Openzone and BT FON users that will make finding hotspots and moving between them even easier.

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About BT
BT is one of the world’s leading providers of communications solutions and services operating in more than 170 countries. Its principal activities include the provision of networked IT services globally; local, national and international telecommunications services to our customers for use at home, at work and on the move; broadband and internet products and services and converged fixed/mobile products and services. BT consists principally of four lines of business: BT Global Services, Openreach, BT Retail and BT Wholesale.

In the year ended 31 March 2010, BT Group’s revenue was £20,911 million.

British Telecommunications plc (BT) is a wholly-owned subsidiary of BT Group plc and encompasses virtually all businesses and assets of the BT Group. BT Group plc is listed on stock exchanges in London and New York.

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