BT Fon takes a little bit of bandwidth for others to use when passing your house. It's totally secure and won't affect your download limit
Q In the latest BT advertisements we are told that BT has thousands of Wifi hotspots around the country. When I looked at the local map of these hotspots I was surprised to see that my house is listed as a hotspot.
Does this mean that anyone nearby can use my Home Hub and, if so, would this affect the amount of downloads I am allowed?
A The answer to your first is likely to be yes – BT could indeed be enabling passers-by to connect to your Home Hub in order to make use of its wireless internet connection.
This is part of a service that the company calls BT Fon, which in essence electronically ring-fences a bit of your internet bandwidth for use by others who have opted into BT Fon.
It is a quid pro quo arrangement, meaning those that opt in – thus agreeing to give over a little bit of their bandwidth – are able to use their credentials to log in to any and all BT Fon hotspots they may encounter.
If you became a BT customer from March 2009 onwards then you will have been opted in to BT Fon automatically.
No Problem isn’t the place for value judgements but we can’t see anything fundamentally wrong with BT Fon as a service; though we can understand why some customers might object to being opted in automatically.
Remaining opted in won’t affect the amount of downloads you are allowed and the maximum amount of bandwidth that will be lost is 512Kbits/sec – and that’s only if someone happens to make use of your Home Hub.
From the security perspective, it is also safe: the BT Fon service creates a secure divide between your network and the BT Fon network. Indeed, it is even available for non-BT customers to join, though a special BT Fon router is required. Find out more about the service here.
However, if you wish to opt out, first visit BT's Fon website and click the Check Status link. Now tap in your credentials and click the Check Status button. Scroll down to the opt-out area, tap in your credentials once more, click Send and then follow the instructions to complete the job.
Updating your subscription status