High Streets Initiative · 9 April 2018

A new service of free public wi-fi for SME customers

The new feature will be for the BT Business Smart Hub 6.

The multinational telecommunications company, BT,  is to let SME users offer free, unlimited wi-fi to their customers through the same broadband connection as their own.

The new feature for the BT Business Smart Hub 6 will allow for the creation of a virtualised public wi-fi hotspot completely independent of the business network.

Businesses will no longer have to share login details with log-ins carried out via the BT Wi-Fi service.

Commenting on the proposal, Mike Tomlinson, managing director at BT Business and Public Sector, said: “Everyone, everywhere, now expects to get online for free when they’re out and about and making purchases.

“We’ve listened to the concerns of small businesses, who in many cases were providing a free Wi-Fi service to their customers by sharing their password details.”

This has been established to protect the performance and security of the network by minimising the threat to company assets and reducing the risk of a customer accidentally installing malware.

“We’re addressing the cyber security and legal risks of doing so by providing a guest wi-fi service which is completely ring-fenced from companies’ private networks.

“Small firms benefit from greater security, content controls and better broadband performance, while at the same time giving their customers a faster, more convenient and secure way to get online with every visit to the business.”

BT benefits from this as every SME that takes up the offer will be a new location added to the BT wi-fi nationwide network of over five million hotspots.

This not only boosts the appeal to future customers, but also it will subsequently allow for mobile traffic offloading in the future.

Free Wi-Fi would encourage over 80 per cent of shoppers to visit local retailers

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ABOUT THE EXPERT

Carly Hacon is a reporter for Business Advice. She has a BA in journalism from Kingston University, and has previously worked as a features editor for a local newspaper.

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