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Fon gives users access to BT Openzone hotspots

After more than a little consideration, I finally signed up to the Fon WiFi sharing collective the other week and managed to get my Fonera router plugged in and operational over the weekend.

As well as allowing other Fon punters in my general vicinity to have access to around 1.0 Mbps of my 16 Mbps Internet bandwidth, the free service allows registered punters like me to access BT Openzone hotspots whilst out and about.

WiFi access when out and about is fairly passe and less of a life changer than a 3G mobile broadband modem which, of course, works pretty well anywhere.

But it's real advantage is being able to punt VOIP calls across the WiFi network throughout most of the city centre. 3G broadband does this, but the packet latency is such that you end up sounding like a dalek at the other end. On WiFi, you don't get this problem.

Anyway, back to the Fon service. It works, and works well and, once you've paid £20.00 or so and installed/registered the Fon router, the service is effectively free to use.

So far BT Openzone has installed wireless city networks in 13 cities across the UK and, whilst some cities make extensive use of roaming partners, which kind of reduces the effectiveness of the Fon service,

I have to say I'm very impressed with the facility, which I've used on my laptop, VOIP handset and iPod iTouch...

More on the delights of Fon as I get into the service (if that's the right word)...