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Can BT turn free Wi-Fi hotspots into a reality?

Fon wants to create the world's biggest Wi-Fi hotspot network and provide free access to everyone, and the company's deal with BT this week could go a long way to achieving that goal.

The idea is to get you to either install a Fon router at home or sign up with an ISP that supports the service, and then share your broadband bandwidth with other users of the Fon network. That means once you're signed up, you're free to access the internet anywhere there's a Fon hotspot. Some subscribers may choose to opt out of offering their bandwidth for free and choose to charge hotspot users instead, however.

It's an ambitious plan, but one which has already encourage nearly 200,000 people worldwide to turn their broadband connection into a Wi-Fi hotspot. However, given that Fon envisages a time when we'll be able to walk along any street and log in to the network, it needs to boost user numbers.

I've had a Fon router for the past year, and so far I've only used it for wireless internet access at home. That's because there never seems to be a Fon network available when I need one. Instead, I've had to resort to the tried-and-trusted hotspots offered by the likes of BT Openzone, T-Mobile and The Cloud.

The partnership with BT, which has 3 million broadband subscribers in the UK, could provide a significant boost in coverage.

See also: Fon router review

Plus, subscribe to PC Advisor and claim your Free Fon router

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