Brits missing out on free Wi-Fi

Majority of home broadband users unaware they already have free Wi-Fi from their provider.

Millions of Brits are failing to take advantage of the free Wi-Fi offered by their home broadband provider, according to new study

Here, Wi-Fi broadband refers to wireless hotspots, where consumers can log on and surf the web while out and about, as opposed to a home connection with a wireless router, explained researchers.

Charlie Ponsonby, chief executive of, which carried out the research, said: "We talk to thousands of new broadband customers every month and very few are aware of the potential benefits of choosing a broadband provider with free Wi-Fi access away from home."

The firm added that with more than five million home broadband customers all eligible for free Wi-Fi minutes, BT is currently leading the pack. Its customers can go online away from home at three million hotspots, including many offered by the BT FON network that uses part of a home broadband connection for secure, public access.

O2 customers also benefit from free Wi-Fi at almost 10,000 hotspots, while Sky now owns The Cloud network of hotspots and could soon be offering access to its 3.3 million broadband customers.

Early last month, cable provider Virgin Media revealed it was considering plans to offer a free London-wide Wi-Fi network to both its own customers and the general public.

"If you are out and about and need a fast and reliable internet connection on your smartphone or laptop, then a Wi-Fi hotspot is likely to provide a far better experience than using your 3G broadband access on your phone or via a dongle," added Ponsonby.

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