The wonderful world of wi-fi

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BT reported today that it has reached more than 500,000 wi-fi hotspots in the south west, of which nearly 70,000 are in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.

Across the UK and Ireland, the company says it has added more than 20,000 new hotspots each week over the past year taking the total to five million.

BT saw more than 400 million connections across its wi-fi network in 2012/13 and latest figures show users’ online wi-fi time is increasing, with minutes more than tripling in the same period.

13 petabytes of data (13 billion megabytes) were consumed across BT’s wi-fi network during 2012/13. The volume is the equivalent of downloading 3.9 billion MP3s (iTunes currently has 26 million songs in its library), or non-stop streaming of The Hobbit in HD for 1,042 years.

Research conducted by BT and ICM found that usage trends for wi-fi vary according to age. Most 18-24s favour wi-fi for social media, while the 35-44 age group chooses to shop online. Most 45-54s use it for GPS and mapping services, whilst the over 65s use wi-fi for finding discount vouchers or codes.

There are now said to be 501,000 places where people can connect via BT wi-fi in the south west – up from about 332,000 hotspots in the region at the beginning of last year – more than 764,000 in the south east, 464,000 in Scotland, 519,000 in the east and more than 543,000 in London.

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