Tuesday, November 23, 2010

BT FON: Now this is Social Computing

The premise of BT FON by British Telecom:

You freely allow for others to share a piece of your home-hub broadband connection in return for free access to theirs and, importantly, access for free to BTs public wifi spots.

It's potentially the worlds largest Wi-Fi community in the world and
my iPad, without a telcom data card, is begging me to join and download the iPhone app to activate it.

Those Wi-Fi hotspots were mostly aimed at businessmen but this seems much more democratising....and free. Let's be frank, using mobile data is definitely the easiest approach at the moment to feed your smartphone but it does seems we are at the stage now that those large towers used by telecoms companies to throw your data signals through the air will be replaced by a million peoples home wireless hub. It's social decentralised computing and the model is good.

I notice my existing mobile data provider, O2, has capped my mobile data usage and 10 days before the end of the month I find myself with it all used up and my speed throttled. If BT FON could take some of the load off then this would help somewhat.

I wonder what the telecomms companies will make of it?

I think this is an excellent play by British Telecom. If something like this could gain momentum then it would be quite a disrupter but without the numbers the experience will be poor as I transition between Bob Smiths hub and wait another minute until I can use a little bit of Mary's down the road. If switching between free hub-pimping and mobile data is seamless then maybe the problems aren't so great.

I'd be reading the small print on the security and privacy implications but this is definitiely one to watch.


No comments: