BT kicks off commercial Wi-Fi network

Graeme Wearden Special to CNET News.com
BT has launched its Wi-Fi service that gives laptop and PDA (personal digital assistant) users high-speed wireless Internet access in selected locations. BT announced in April that it was planning to set up public high-speed wireless LANs (local area networks) across the United Kingdom. Such Wi-Fi hot spots have been popular in the United States for some time, but in the United Kingdom, it has only just become legal to offer such commercial services. BT has been testing the service, called BT Openzone, since June.

As planned, BT began the commercial launch of the service Aug. 1. While the company is targeting business users, individuals will also be able to sign up. Several of BT Openzone's 20 hot spots are in London. The company is aiming to have 70 hot spots in place by the end of 2002, and 400 by next summer.

ZDNet UK's Graeme Wearden reported from London.

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