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This article was published on November 16, 2011


    BT calls for 400 volunteers to test its UK WiFi coverage

    BT calls for 400 volunteers to test its UK WiFi coverage Image by: Patryce Bak
    Paul Sawers
    Story by

    Paul Sawers

    Paul Sawers was a reporter with The Next Web in various roles from May 2011 to November 2014. Follow Paul on Twitter: @psawers or check h Paul Sawers was a reporter with The Next Web in various roles from May 2011 to November 2014. Follow Paul on Twitter: @psawers or check him out on Google+.

    Telecommunications company BT is asking for 400 Android smartphone-owning volunteers from across the UK, as it seeks to “understand the coverage of our public WiFi network, assess demand, and improve.”

    Stressing that no technical expertise is required, volunteers will be asked to install an application on their smartphone and leave it running for up to 4 weeks, so it can gather data on the availability of its WiFi networks. The results from the study will be compared to a similar undertaking last year, and it will thus be able to establish if its coverage has improved and better understand its market.

    But wait a minute. Why would you want to volunteer to help BT? Well, its carrot-on-a-stick incentive is the chance to win an iPad 2 in a prize-draw, with a runner-up prize of a pair of tickets to an Arsenal vs. Manchester City match up for grabs.

    Once you’ve completed the survey, you’ll be invited to download and run the BT WiFi Survey app. The application scans your area to see what WiFi access points the phone can detect, running roughly at 10 minute intervals. It will, of course, record other details, such as your location and how much data has been sent over the WiFi and cellular connections. Additionally the application will test the performance of available BT WiFi networks. BT says the data will be anonymised – and the contact details are asked for the sole purpose of the prize draw, and to email instructions for installing the app.

    BT currently has around 3m WiFi hotspots in the UK and Ireland and you can apply to be a volunteer here,