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I have just, on behalf of my work, taken out a BT Openzone subscription to enable working whilst travelling around the UK.
However, having visited 4 'Hotspots' that, according to BT's hotspot locator, should have been up and running I haven't found one that actually was.
In two the staff had no idea why they would be listed as hotspots, in one staff said they hadn't had wireless for some time and in the final one they said they had been having technical problems for a number of weeks.
Am I just unlucky or is this typical?
I have a 14 day 'cooling off' period and wondered if anyone out there had any experiences to offer.
when Bt were vigorously promoting them, back when they launched. They sent me a free voucher for some time on the Hotspot at our local cinema complex, and I trotted off to give it a whirl. It worked OK, but I felt faintly silly, sitting there eating a pizza with my laptop in full view. Nobody else was online there, and after 20 minutes I gave up.
I confess I'm distinctly underwhelmed by the whole idea of paying to sit in a public place and surf the net, because there are increasing numbers of public places where you can do it for free. When I go to New York I can use the wireless broadband service that's provided free in the British Airways departure lounge, and I can do the same thing in the public rooms in my hotel. The London Borough of Islington has been providing free public internet access in Upper street for some time, and many other towns and cities are either doing, or contemplating doing the same thing.
For the responses.
The first 'hotspot' I tried was a Mcdonalds and that had had the router removed 'some time ago'!
I agree that it isn't an ideal solution and not the most secure, but until the 'free' options are widely available in the UK it is the only one there is. Using a mobile phone for internet access seems very costly.
Of course this assumes that there are a wide number of real (as opposed to claimed)hotspots.
I tried a couple of these Hotspots when testing out my wireless laptop. I successfully managed to connect at the Hotspot at the local PC World but couldn't connect at McDonalds even though I could see the signal. The ones' at the local snooker hall and pub, although listed, didn't exist.
The Hotspot locators are not very up to date in my experience and many are no longer in operation.
I used this to locate them click here but I see it's still not been updated.
vodafone also do a version of this as well means you would not have to find hotspots and seems to work at about standard 512 adsl speeds
Again for the responses.
It would appear that both our experiences reflect some problems with the locator system.
I did look at this, but as it is for a project team it would mean having a number of phones and subscriptions which would run very expensive. Probably for an individual it would be fine.
I've used my PDA to access Bt Hotspots. If you really need to connect while out and about they're a good compromise between a laptop and a phone, though I don't think it'll be long before they're replaced altogether by smartphones
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