BT Reaches 3.5m Wi-Fi Hotspot Milestone

BT says that it now has more than 3.5 million public Wi-Fi hotspots in the UK and Republic of Ireland.

The phone and broadband provider made the announcement while also launching a new BT FON app for BlackBerry.

Broadband Everywhere

The company says that it has 380,000 hotspots in London, 25,000 in Birmingham and Leeds, 20,000 in Manchester, Edinburgh and Sheffield, and more than 11,000 in Liverpool, Brighton, Bristol and Cardiff.

BT had previously announced that it had close to 320,000 hotspots in Scotland and nearly 170,000 in Wales.

“Millions of BT broadband customers are enjoying free access to one of the biggest Wi-Fi networks in the world,” said BT’s consumer managing director John Petter.

The hotspots are currently free to BT’s six million home and business broadband subscribers and the new BlackBerry App will provide users with easier hotspot login. BT has released apps for the iPhone, iPad and Android devices which locate and connect customers to their nearest BT hotspot.

BT says that it recognises that such devices are now overtaking laptops and PCs as the Wi-Fi device of choice. “Our free apps for the Apple, Android and now Blackberry devices make getting online even easier and have already proved a huge hit with over 900,000 downloads,” commented Petter.

BT’s Wi-Fi network has expanded to cover 100 London pubs after it agreed a deal with brewer Heineken and has even found its way underground after a hotspot was installed at Charing Cross tube station as part of a subterranean Wi-Fi trial.

Steve McCaskill

Steve McCaskill is editor of TechWeekEurope and ChannelBiz. He joined as a reporter in 2011 and covers all areas of IT, with a particular interest in telecommunications, mobile and networking, along with sports technology.

View Comments

  • The BT Wifi hotspots are rubbish though! You only get 496kbps and because they all use the BT FON and BTOpenzone SSIDs your smartphone will always deactivate 3G and hook onto one of these networks, however as you need to log in there is not connectivity.

    So in practice what you get it your net connection randomly dropping out because of these slow, poorly implemented hotspots. 3G is far faster than the half-meg connection these offer. I get access to them free via both BT BB and via Orange mobile contract and I STILL avoid using them, unless absolutely necessary!

    Just my two cents worth... ;-) Still, I guess they're better there than not there, I just wish they gave a bit more bandwidth, and auto-login features.

  • Hi Rogan,
    really useful info, thanks, I was considering switching to O2 to use these hotspots, but maybe that is not such a good plan. The only thing is how long will 3G be so good as more people use it more?, and you cant sit inside a nice warm cafe and be sure of a 3G signal either.

  • The worst Internet I have ever had. Instead of day pass just allows you for 10 - 11 hours then switches off. No reliable speed. Avoid if possible. Don't spend money on it.

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