Wireless broadband providers should consider restricting access to their networks, in the wake of the new Digital Economy Act, according to Ofcom.
The media regulator has warned that businesses and consumers who allow members of the public to access the internet via their Wi-Fi could fall foul of the legislation.
For the purpose of the new anti-filesharing laws, anyone who offers community Wi-Fi services is still deemed a single internet subscriber, Ofcom reports.
And as such, they will be responsible for online activities taking place via their wireless connection. So if a user is caught illegal filesharing, the Wi-Fi provider will be held to account by their ISP.
Ofcom warned: "Those who wish to continue to enable others to access their service will need to consider whether to take steps to protect their networks against use for infringement, to avoid the consequences that may follow."
Meanwhile, BT has criticised Ofcom's new anti-filesharing code, which proposes an exemption for internet service providers with fewer than 400,000 subscribers.