Businesses in property that get their broadband from BT are being warned to check if their building has been turned into an internet wifi “hot spot” – without them being asked.
Specialist property outsourced IT company Ulysses IT has found out that the telecoms giant has recently “upgraded” 20,000 of its business broadband customers around the UK.
The upgrade turns the business’s internet hub into a BT Openzone wifi hotspot that total strangers can connect to and buy internet time.
And while they won’t be able to access confidential company documents or email, there’s a chance they could slow down internet access for the business.
“BT is not being very open about the way it is doing this,” said Ken Manger from Ulysses IT.
“It is doing the upgrade and burying this news halfway down an email to customers. We think they should be asking their customers to opt-in to a service like this, rather than rely on them spotting it and opting out.
“ ;If business owners do notice, they can opt out of being a hotspot, although the majority won’t know how to do this.”
Ken added: “BT is trying to earn twice as much money for a service it is already being paid for by the business owner. As IT experts we highly recommend you switch the hotspot off. If a number of strangers connect to your broadband, you could have slower internet speed.”
Industry sources says BT is expected to roll the upgrade out to another 200,000 customers in the next few months.
Ulysses IT was established in 1998 and has grown offering outsourced IT on a pay as you go basis.