- Few customers understand the benefits already freely
- Home broadband customers can enjoy web access for free
when they are out and about with faster connection for smartphones
and laptops than via 3G;
- BT leads the way with others soon to join the
As Charlie Ponsonby, CEO of Simplifydigital.com
explains: "We talk to thousands of new broadband customers
every month and very few are aware of the potential benefits of
choosing a broadband provider with free Wi-Fi access away from
What is Wi-Fi broadband?
Wi-Fi broadband is often confused with wireless broadband (a
term which refers to the use of a wireless router within the home
to allow you to connect wirelessly without a cable).
Wi-Fi broadband access refers to broadband access available via
"wireless hotspots" outside the home (e.g. in a coffee
shop). There are many thousands of Wi-Fi hotspots
around the UK, run by a myriad of providers. Some are free
and some charge for access.
But few people realize that now you may be eligible for free Wi-Fi
access if you pay for a home broadband connection at home.
What are the potential benefits of Wi-Fi
Wi-Fi broadband operates on the same principle as your wireless
router at home. Each hotpsot effectively has a powerful
wireless router connected to a fixed line broadband
connection. As a result the broadband service is often faster
and more reliable than a 3G broadband connection picked up on your
mobile phone or via a dongle.
In addition there are no problems with restricted data download
limits, as is the case with 3G broadband. Hence as mobile
phone providers start to charge for data usage, switching to a
broadband connection at a Wi-Fi hotspot, will mean that you do not
exceed your data limit.
Charlie Ponsonby continues:
"If you are out and about and need a fast and reliable internet
connection on your smartphone or laptop, then a Wi-Fi hotspot is
likely to provide a far better experience than using your 3G
broadband access on your phone or via a dongle."
Which home broadband provider offers the best Wi-Fi
BT and to a lesser extent O2 lead the way in the free provision
of Wi-Fi broadband access outside the home.
BT Total (home) Broadband customers have free access to over 3
million BT Wi-Fi hotspots. This includes both BT Fon hotspots
provided by BT Broadband customers who are part of the BT Fon
community and nearly 5,000 BT Openzone hotspots outside the home,
at places such as Starbucks, Hilton and Heineken
In addition O2 home broadband customers who are also O2 mobile
phone customers can benefit from free access to the BT Openzone
Wi-Fi hotspots, plus a further 5,000 hotspots provided by The Cloud
- making a total of nearly 10,000 hotspots.
BT and O2 provide Wi-Fi hotspot availability maps on their
Notes to Editors:
Simplifydigital.com offers a free and impartial "Switching
Support" service for anyone looking to get a digital TV, broadband
or phone package.
Its London-based impartial experts are available for free over the
phone, to answer all those tricky questions and match the family's
needs to the best deal available.
Simplifydigital.com's experts are available for free on 0800 1 388
388 seven days a week (Lines open Mon-Fri 8am-8pm; Saturday
9am-5:30pm; Sunday 10-5:30pm).
You can also use Simplifydigital.com's Ofcom accredited comparison
engine online at www.simplifydigital.com.
*20% of customers saved £445 or more. Sample of 1,123
customers Jan 2011 - June 2011.