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The cost of accessing UK wireless can be as much as £8 per hour, but this could fall with the rise of free Wi-Fi hotspots, one commentator argues.

Writing in the Scotsman, Alastair Jamieson claims that the charges for accessing the web on the move in internet cafes and similar hotspots are costing British consumers millions of pounds a year, but a number of broadband providers - as well as private enterprises - are beginning to provide customers with free and low-cost Wi-Fi access.

Mr Jamieson cites BT's Openzone wireless network as an example, which currently has around 800 hubs across Scotland alone, with partnerships with English councils promising to deliver wireless access throughout many more major cities.

Openzone offers BT customers internet access through its Wi-Fi network on a subscription basis and works on any wireless-enabled laptop or PDA.

BT is hoping to encourage a greater use of its extensive UK wireless network and has recently announced the winner of a design innovation award which aims to promote more widely accessible and easy-to-use Wi-Fi services.

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