BT and FON aim for giant Wi-Fi community

BT has teamed up with Wi-Fi provider FON to encourage its three million consumer Total Broadband users to share their Wi-Fi connections with each other and FON users worldwide in a bid to try and create the "world's largest Wi-Fi community."

FON works by getting people to open a separate, secure channel on their wireless router, which can then be accessed by anyone who has done likewise with their own router.

The result is 190,000 hotspots worldwide, a figure BT intends to multiply several times over to form a "people's network" covering every street in Britain.

As an incentive, BT is giving anyone who opens up their router free access to its nationwide network of Openzone wireless hotspots.

"We are giving our millions of Total Broadband customers a choice and an opportunity," said Gavin Patterson, BT Consumer managing director.

"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 without paying a penny."