Feeds

back to article BT reprograms biz customers as hotspots

BT has begun transforming its commercial customers' Business Hubs into OpenZone hotspots for any passing Tom, Dick or Harry to share, and leaving businesses to figure out how to opt out of the scheme after the fact. Under the scheme, 20,000 BT Business Broadband customers have already had their hubs upgraded, with another 200, …

COMMENTS

This topic is closed for new posts.

Page:

Stop

Fuck me!

This is just so cheeky!

Why build out infrastructure when you can STEAL bandwidth paid for by your own customers? Oh well I'm sure they get a discount to offset this...? What, no, they're then CHARGING you (or your customers!) for the privilege of using it?!!

PLEASE PLEASE all BT Business Broadband customers opt OUT of this blatant piss-taking rip-off and show BT the big fat finger!

0
0
Stop

hang on......

for them stealing the bandwidth you're paying for, you get entered in a lucky dip?

I call on all businesses to turn this crap off. Either BT boosts your bandwidth for free or all bets are off. As in fuck right.

0
0
Pirate

BT - you suck!

"BT claims the OpenZone users are securely separated from local users". Do you think anyone will believe you.

First 'Webwise' (spits), now this.

You really *are* such a security concious outfit.

Ooops, almost forgot about that oh so secure BT Homehub (the old one, of course)

0
0

Ask first...

That is the generally accepted way to do things in business, but given BT's attitude to its customers (Phorm anyone), it is no surprise that this is opt OUT not opt IN.

Maybe they are trying set a precedent for what opting out means... something that happens after you have had no choice in the matter.

0
0
Silver badge

I am fucking speechless

and I don't normally do a Dzubia. After cocking it up with Sender Verification and Phorm, they do this.

0
0
Anonymous Coward

@Ask first...

>"Maybe they are trying set a precedent for what opting out means... something that happens after you have had no choice in the matter."

Errr... that IS what "opt-out" means, isn't it? That's why we insist very strongly that marketing e-mil has to be opt-IN and not opt-OUT (aka 'spam'), no?

0
0

That explains why

last night I got a BT Openzone login screen on my laptop, when I'm miles from the nearest hotspot. I just assumed it was a fake hotspot set up to gather credentials. But then how can you tell the difference?

0
0

remote updates

So why exactly do businesses give BT the ability to update their hubs remotely?

0
0
Thumb Down

Bog off BT

That might explain why I've seen two new wlans appear in our office block in the last few days... both called "BT Openzone". Think I might pay a visit to some of our neighbours and help them turn it off.

An opt-in scheme with the benefit of being able to access others wlans low cost or free is one thing, but and "we'll sign you up, you have to realise we've done it then work out how to opt-out" is un-acceptable. Outrageous!!

0
0
Anonymous Coward

Explains why

...when I booted up my new laptop, it was able to straightaway access the internet via OpenZone.

I was a bit surprised, as I hadn't told it to connect to anything.

0
0
Thumb Down

No Suprise

Seems to be the way things are done these days, opting people into things without sufficient info on why are doing it, or even if the customer needs it.

I'd like the legallity of doing things like this assessed and make it so you can't be 'opted in' to things you don't want or need, but i doubt that's gonna happen.

Just another way this country is going to the wall. Just wish i could move somewhere else. Would be easier to put up with this shite if the weather was pleasant all year round!

0
0
Black Helicopters

And the lucky IP address is...

Oh yes, I can just see it now...

Small business leaves exciting new 'bandwidth sharing' option on, drive-by terrorist/paedophile/other threat to security logs in and uses said bandwidth for all manor of unspeakable purposes, small business subsequently raided by police, computer equipment seized, small business goes bust due to inability to function.

Even when proved that said unspeakable internet activity was nothing to do with small business, it will be too late.

A wonderful idea.

0
0

What's the bet...

... that not a single MP or major media organisation raises any objections.

It's hardly surprising BT are doing this, it wouldn't surprise me if it was part of a conspiracy to allow the Spooks easy access to our data without ever informing us.

0
0
ben
Stop

Faraday Cage?

I would like to see them enable a usable BT Openzone hot spot on my bizhub... not only is wireless disabled, the router is inside a Faraday cage

0
0
Silver badge
Stop

So time to change your router...

.....or ISP then?

Plus wouldnt it be so much nicer if they offrered a substantial discount for allowing your bandwidth to be used and also a 'get out of jail free' pass in case folks were pulling in kiddie porn over it?

Is the bandwidth/traffic so well differenciated that the business owner would not be liable? After all that kind of sh*t sticks.

0
0
Silver badge
Coat

How long before the Home Hubs get the same treatment?

I think its a bit rich. Customer buys bandwidth. BT steals some back and sells it to another customer.

Mine is the one with the fake hotspot in the pocket, gathering all your login details.

0
0
Anonymous Coward

Current Software Version: 5.29.107.19

I might opt in when asked - just to see if I can't frustrate/ violate some openzoners.

0
0
Alert

Hello, security anyone?

Can you imagine how many businesses are gonna like having ppl snooping around on their networks, wireless or otherwise.

Security is all about layers and there goes about three layers worth of security in one go. BT have some customers who would be nice juicy targets and this would make life even easier for the criminals.

Perhaps this is BTs way of telling their customers to go elsewhere in a northern rock kind of way.

Add to this, reliability. You can forget about voip when someone's using your network for p2p - but I guess it doesn't really matter too much anymore because the various filters already employed by virtually every ISP already make VOIP a fairly pointless exercise a lot of the time anyway.

0
0
Thumb Down

E-mail.....

My company used to have BT as a service provider, and to be fair they regulary used to e-mail me updates....... to the BT e-mail address they configured for me when they set up my account. Not the company e-mail address i provided them with and consequently the one I actually use. Took a couple of month to get them to auto forward stuff to the correct email address.

Suffice to say we no longer use BT.

0
0
Bronze badge

User? ISP?

Does this turn users into ISPs? If so, will they be required to install their own pr0n blocking and record details of their internet traffic too? Presumably, BT takes care of this aspect.

Maybe there is scope for a bit of "It ain't me guv, honest" insurance here. "It must have been a passing trrrst..." albeit at the cost of paying twice for the same data.

Alternatively, are there any secure wireless routers, or software equivalents, that will allow socially inclined members of the public to share a suitably limited portion of their (non-BT) bandwidth to passers-by using their own version of a BT hub and contribute to this bold experiment in universal connectivity?

0
0
Stop

Sky next?

Dear Sky TV purchaser,

We upgraded your Sky+ Box overnight which has removed your curtains and invites everyone in your street to peer through the window and watch your Sky television package, which by the way you are paying us for. You may opt out by hanging your curtains back up.

Twats - this cannot be legal.

0
0
Anonymous Coward

Hum

Perhaps looking for a Intel Gathering angle would be in order?

0
0
Flame

BT: epic fail

wow what a bunch of fucktards oh well means more custom for me...

0
0
Black Helicopters

Uberdatabase implications?

>>BT claims the OpenZone users are securely separated from local users<<

Hmm.. my fear would be Jacqui Smith kicking down my door after a passing turrurist, p&ado, extreme pron fan or fly tipper solicited some hot interweb action via my router.

0
0
Stop

A new low indeed

I can understand why they would make this service opt-out rather than opt-in...

Who would volunteer to let BT resell the bandwidth you paying them for, back to you!?

Tto then suggest they give the bandwidth away to their customers is perhaps taking it a bit too far. For one thing, if they want to provide free Wi-Fi access to the internet over their connection, they could give the bandwidth away WITHOUT paying BT for it (again).

0
0
Pirate

What a brilliant idea

Yep it sure is, because they know that anyone using BT as an isp for their business and using the gobsmackingly arse "router" that they provide for free, then they already know the business is one of those that really doesn't have any it infrastructure and won't care less if things like this happen.

0
0
Stop

step away from the "BT"

Who still uses these idiots

0
0
Pirate

Shurely Shome Mishtake

THE BT Openzone News release on this, "Free BT public Wi-Fi hotspot for every business broadband customer"

(http://www.btopenzone.com/news/news_20090209.jsp)

is a classic.

First paragraph:

"BT today launches the new BT Business Total Broadband hub, the first business broadband package to provide a free public Wi-Fi hotspot. Any business can now offer Wi-Fi to visitors - either as a free service or by selling BT Openzone vouchers to create a new revenue stream"

Last paragraph:

"20,000 existing customers have already received firmware to enable the hotspot in their BT Business Hubs and a further 200,000 will receive the upgrade this quarter. BT Business Total Broadband customers who wish to switch off the hotspot capability can do so using the Hub Manager on their desktops."

So we 'can' (ie now do, because BT switched it on without our permission) offer guest internet access, using our bandwidth, to every passing perv with a set of stolen openzone account credentials, and we 'can' (ie haven't, because we didn't know) switch if off if we subsequently find out this has happened. But it's 'free', so that's OK. A masterful use of English there, IMHO.

I would also suggest a look at the Openzone Support pages on this subject (http://tinyurl.com/av4zr2) for another chuckle, particularly the "If someone uses my broadband connection to access an illegal site, can I prove that it wasn't me accessing it?" section. Print it out and have it ready for that dawn raid...

Note that BT themselves admit that although they only offer 512K to 'guests', this is fixed and not dependant of your actual line speed ("I have enabled my BT Openzone service and now the performance of my LAN is degraded, what should I do?"). One of our locations only gets 1.1Mb anyway, so that's potentially just halved, unlike our monthly rental.

I would go on to plough through their T&Cs to try and find where I gave them permission to do this, but frankly I'm losing the will to live ; )

Pirates, because AK-wielding Somalis have more honest business practices.

0
0
Bronze badge

Why so negative ?

This is excellent news. I've had a FON router for a year or so, and no-one's used it yet. It should give me free access to wifi elsewhere, but there aren't many in the areas where I need them : I'd have to go and sit in the car outside someone's house.

BT joining the scheme looked like a big improvement (they share FON access on home hubs but not the paid-for hubs) since it provides a much larger user base .. but hardly any homehubs have it enabled. Opting out rather than opting in is a much more sensible way to do it.

And what's the catch ? You lose a bit of bandwidth. For most residential users, you don't even lose that. In my experience it's the servers and caches that are slow, not the local link. You can always turn it off. In return, you get free access anywhere that someone else contributes.

Security ? Privacy ? I thought we didn't have those any more. If you care, it's easy enough to put the router in the DMZ.

Paytards, all of you. Share and benefit.

0
0
Paris Hilton

"Opt Out"

I believe this is how (if like myself are a BT Business customer) you 'opt out' of this absolutely ridiculous scheme by BT. I'm absolutely f*cking speechless at their audacity to resell bandwidth that I HAVE ALREADY BLOODY PAID FOR!!!

*******************************************

How can I turn my BT Openzone service on and off?

This can be done via the BT Business Hub's web interface. From a device connected to the Business Hub and local area network (either connected with Ethernet, USB or on the BTBusinessHub SSID), do the following:

Open a web browser and go to http://home.

Click on the Services tab at the top of the page.

Click on the Openzone menu option.

Click on the Enable/Disable button, depending on the action you wish to perform.

Note:

The changes may not be instantaneous. It could take up to 30 minutes for the service to be fully enabled or disabled because of the need to communicate with the BT network. The status shows as pending until this process has completed.

********************************

Paris because much like BT you never know what bad thing you'll get when you dip into it.

0
0
Stop

Home users

We have about 50 or so home users, all with Business Broadband lines provided by us, and using the BT supplied hubs.

Are BT going to be paying for the extra support costs that are now going to be involved by us having to arrange with all our home users to connect in and switch off this new 'feature'?

0
0
Silver badge
Dead Vulture

Hmm. Multicast...

When I multicast [as opposed to unicast] ghost images through my router, it causes the CPU to ram up to 100% all other network activity to die on it's arse.

I wonder if anyone will find a similar trick for these? Seperate VLAN [or similar logical segregation on security grounds] for wireless is useless if the CPU is overloaded and can't process any data anyway...

Gravestone, with respect to the dead router.

Steven R

0
0
Anonymous Coward

Err

Err. You don't lose bandwidth, it gives your own traffic priority over the hotspot traffic. If you're maxing out your connection then the hotspot users get nothing.

The hotspot users can't get onto your network, the router creates a separate non-encrypted wireless network for the hotspot traffic. This runs along side your existing wireless network (which I assume you'd setup to be encrypted).

It doesn't cost you any more as the hotspot traffic is tagged so that it is distinguishable from your own private traffic.

You can't get done for hotspot users accessing dodgy things as the hotspot traffic is tagged as such. It can be traced back to whichever BT Openzone user credentials are used to authenticate at the start of the session.

Making it Opt-Out is a bit shitty though. As is not providing any way of knowing whether you're logging into the real BT Openzone website, or some fake website someone has setup to gather Openzone credentials.

Look at the details for BT FON...

0
0

idiots

It'll be fun and games until the businesses start getting billed for over-use of their bandwidth at a quid a kilobyte.

0
0
Thumb Down

Last straw - BT gone

I browse Superdickery.com a fair bit - they run an advert about "Cleaning up the oceans" that I had never seen on any other website.

A couple of weeks ago, that advert started appearing on my Yahoo Mail website.

I'd never been contacted about Phorm in any way, shape or form, but look, lo and behold, there's a nice WebSlyWise cookie on my PC.

Now with Sky. Oddly enough, BT didn't protest me leaving too much the minute I brought up wanting to see their proof that what they were doing was legal...

0
0
Thumb Up

Hey, random person!

Have some direct access to my corporate network! You can tell what IP range it uses as you already have an address in it, along with the netmask. Join my domain and sniff for passwords! Play with the remote registry service! Run tcpdump, wireshark [1] and grab all my confidential files from the fileserver! Are you infected with Conficker? Spiffing! Infect my machines while you're there! I'm sure BT will have done an impact analysis of the dangers associated with this arsery, covering edge cases etc., so I'm not worried at all.

Or that's what I might say if I were wont to bury my head and had a Windows domain without edge filtering foisted upon me by some clueless mangler who then insisted I connect a sodding wide open access point to it. Bloody mental. Where the hell was Schneier when it was decided this was a good plan?

Having said that, anyone using such equipment with backdoors to the firmware (which is, essentially, what this is) deserves everything he or she gets. Get a Draytek and stop buggering about. Oh, and a decent ISP would probably be a good idea, too.

[1] OK, I know, putting your wireless card in promiscuous mode is only ever going to pick up broadcasts and packets that were destined for your MAC (ODFO, Jobsians. Media Access Control) anyway, but the media is full of sky-falling, maniacal ranting so why should I be excluded from all the fun? It *is* possible to do this semi-securely but I very much doubt these little Thompson all-in-one boxen can do things like network segmentation. After all, once you have an authenticated (wireless or otherwise) link to the AP, the world's your lobster. Now, if you'll just excuse me, I'm going to install a network socket attached to the core switch in the car-park for the convenience of my "visitors" and other random miscreants, since BT think it's a courteous gesture.

0
0
Thumb Up

I wonder if they can tell where the traffic comes from..

because if not.. this might be the end of BT ever ending someone's contract because they've breached the 'fair use' terms...

0
0
Anonymous Coward

Woohoo

Easier pickings then a webcafe. All those office drones checking their bank stuff / ebay / hotmail accounts!

0
0
Linux

It's shit like this....

....that makes me glad I run openWRT on my routers. I'm in control of my network, not the ISP.

0
0
Stop

I assume

that all of these routers are powered by the local power supply and that power supply is paid for by the business owner.

I also assume that BT is using the powered router WITHOUT the owners permission, therefore using electricity without the owners permission.

Sounds like theft of electricity to me.

0
0

Internet went down for 1 company i got called to!!!!!!

Lol, I went to a company this morning where their internet went down after this update. BT DefinateIy didnt think this trhrough.

For people who are using an internal ip set of 10.*.*.* and have lost the internet, the update caused the subnet 10.*.*.* ip range to be set up for the BT Wireless Hotspot. BT Site says the following:-

I am trying to select the subnet 10.x.x.x IP range and have received an error on my Graphical User Interface (GUI)

Even if Openzone is disabled, the subnet 10.x.x.x IP range settings remain, therefore it is advisable to use an alternative IP range or follow the steps below to obtain the subnet 10.x.x.x IP range:

I cant be bothered to paste the rest, but you get the general idea. Wonder how many companies have lost internet access, or are about to.

Some muppet definately didnt think this through

0
0
Alert

It's a competition !

Between Eircom and BT as to how much piss-taking they can carry out before April 1st.

0
0
Flame

Oh for god's sake

Yes, that's right, Terrorists and paedophiles are waiting around every corner to use any available, paid Wi-FI service!

For god's sake people, have you really bought into that level of hysteria?

This is a bad move for BT, but please, lets have some perspective, it's not a war zone outside your front door, neither is everyone on the street a predatory pervert. YOU are what's causing the breakdown of society.

0
0
Boffin

Doesn't this violate British Law?

Stealing bandwidth, which making the business pay for the same bandwidth twice is, in the US would violate Title 18 U.S.C. 1030. Doesn't the UK have some similar law?

0
0
Happy

Is........

Jacqui Smith in charge of BT now ?. Seems type of thing she and Labour Govt would do ,i.e. fucking stupid idea.

0
0
Jobs Horns

Maybe the prize......

for the "Prize Draw" will be that they will enter you in the Phorm "experiment" again for free and without your know ?. We don't want Phorm by the way. Thats me no one else as everyone else

loves it,lol.

0
0
Ash
Go

This is a *GOOD* thing!

You have carte blanche from BT for being not culpable for the data being sent and received over your BT connection now. You are immune to prosecution.

BT altered your hardware to offer open access. They are responsible.

N.B. Not a lawyer. Someone who is; Comments?

0
0
Anonymous Coward

10.x.x.x

So they snatch the whole 10.x.x.x network just for the Open Wound? Do they really expect that there will be 1.6 million devices connected to the network from the BT Hub? And can that little device support that many DHCP allocations, and talk to that many devices with just 1 paltry radio? Of course not.

Using 10.x.x.x is a retarded decision, just what you expect from BT. But let's be fair, many people who have BT have BT because it's who they always used for communications.

Where are the monopolies commission too? If I wanted to create a country wide public wifi network I would now be competing with BT's OpenZune, and they have managed to roll that out simply by using their already dominant position in another market.

0
0
Thumb Down

Philosophical BT

BT's philosophy appears to be:

"It is easier to beg forgiveness than it is to ask permission"

0
0
Thumb Up

Why so negative?

I was offered this a couple of months ago. I run a coffee shop and was wondering at the time how to offer my customers WiFi access. This to me is a benefit that costs me nothing - I even asked BT for some stickers to advertise the service. I think a few people should read up how it works - different subnet, different SSID, so openzone traffic is isolated. Local traffic takes priority over openzone traffic, etc etc. Most of the envisaged problems don't exist.

0
0

Page:

This topic is closed for new posts.