Wi-fi sharing plan launched in UK

BT has backed a global wireless sharing service called Fon, touting it as the "world's largest wi-fi community" since it lets people share a "small portion" of their home broadband connection by opening up a separate secure channel on their wireless router. The firm's three million broadband customers will be able to share their wi-fi with others in the Fon community, giving Fon users broadband access when in range of another community member's hotspot. BT's scheme with Spanish firm Fon will boost the 500,000-strong community of users around the world and add to the existing 190,000 Fon hotspots. Joining the BT Fon scheme is free of charge and community members will also have free access to existing BT hotspots in its Openzone network.

Gavin Patterson, BT Group's managing director, said the plan was to create "the people's network of wi-fi, that could one day cover every street in Britain. If they are prepared to securely share a little of their broadband, they can share the broadband at hundreds of thousands of Fon and BT Openzone hotspots today, without paying a penny."

News source: BBC News

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11 Comments

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One thing, how do secure a small portion of your network? You give access you cannot say only give those connected, lets say 5% of your bandwidth, they would have full access. NOT a good idea in my opinion, plus everyone would obviously have to have the same passwords etc on their network to make it work, again NOT a good idea.

BT are charging people now for Openzone access (You have to give your credit card details to access them, and create an account), so why should the general public give their own access up for free?

Fon has their own routers with their own firmware. The router creates two separate "networks," an open one for public use (you can set the bandwidth yourself), and a secured one for your own personal use.

I have one of their routers and it actually works quite well However, I got tired of their simplistic firmware and options, and nobody ever even used my shared network; so I installed dd-wrt on the thing and that was the end :P

Fon's objective is good in theory, but they have far too small of a current user base that it's not really practical yet.

It's against the law to use someones Wifi connection without there permission here in the UK, I guess there could be a loop hole if you accept there TOS?

Sharing the wi-fi like this is an optional thing that a person chooses to do; and if they do choose to do it, it is effectivly GIVING permission to Fon members to use their wi-fi.

This sounds a good idea, I would be worried about people using my connection to go on dodgy websites though if I ever signed up to something like this.

The service is set up so that BT know if its the BT customer or someone using the wireless visiting sites.

You also need a Fons account to access the "open wireless", so they'll know who is viewing those dodgy sites.

SimpleRules said,
The service is set up so that BT know if its the BT customer or someone using the wireless visiting sites.

You also need a Fons account to access the "open wireless", so they'll know who is viewing those dodgy sites.

Awesome, it sounds like a win-win plan to me then, i still wouldnt switch to bt tho

InsaneNutter said,

Awesome, it sounds like a win-win plan to me then, i still wouldnt switch to bt tho ;)

My main question is this; if there is 'free access', what will stop a large number from becoming free loaders and thus strink the size of the BT paying pool of subscribers?