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BT Openzone and Broadreach announce roaming deal


05/04/2005 -- BT Openzone and Broadreach Networks, one of the UK ’s leading independent internet location providers, have today announced an agreement that will see the two companies allowing customers to roam across each others’ Wi-Fi hotspots in the UK.

Under the agreement, Broadreach customers will be able to use any of BT Openzone’s own 1,500 hotspots in the UK and BT Openzone’s customers can roam across Broadreach’s network of 350 ReadytoSurf™ fixed and Wi-Fi wireless internet locations . As a result of this and existing roaming deals*, BT Openzone customers can now roam on over 7,800 hotspots in the UK.

Chris Clark, chief executive, BT Wireless Broadband, said: “This agreement with Broadreach is another step towards Wi-Fi access in the UK being similar to the cashpoint system whereby everyone can access Wi-Fi through everyone else’s networks at no extra cost. In order for Wi-Fi to work effectively, companies must work together and offer reciprocal roaming to customers. This partnership will broaden the appeal of Wi-Fi for our customers so they will be able to access their networks when travelling on trains. It also takes BT one step closer to achieving its Mobility and Convergence vision - providing its customers with access to all their applications and information on their choice of device, utilising the best network available with one customer experience.”

Magnus McEwen-King, founder and CEO of Broadreach Networks commented: 'Roaming is integral to Broadreach's business model and company philosophy: we've always believed that widespread adoption of Wi-Fi usage outside the home and office will only come if all of the providers involved make Wi-Fi as easy as possible for people to use. Partnering with BT Openzone is a major milestone in this endeavour. We're delighted that the agreement will also allow us to share expertise in the development and roll-out of our Wi-Fi on trains Connected Carriage solution.'

This partnership now means that customers, regardless of which provider they are signed up with, can use hotspots in easy to recognise locations such as British Airways and bmi customer lounges , BAA Airports, Hilton Hotels, Travelodge, Ramada Jarvis Hotels, major UK railway stations, Virgin Megastores, McDonald’s flagship and drive-thru restaurants, PC World stores, Little Chef, Moto and RoadChef service stations. The roaming service is now live.

Customers can find out where their nearest BT Openzone and Broadreach hotspots are by logging onto the following websites: www.bt openzone.com/find or www.readytosurf.com or SMS BT on 81041 with their nearest town or postcode. Customers also benefit from BT Openzone Access Manager which enables users to automatically detect where their nearest hotspot is and log on without going through their web browser.
xx


Publisher Contact Information:

Broadreach Networks
+44 (0)20 7031 8160
pressoffice@broadreachnet.com

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