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BT app now lets you pause Wi-Fi and control screen time on up to 15 devices

The new Wi-Fi Controls, which can be managed via the MyBT app or via the account settings on a browser, come as standard on the Smart Hub 2

 BT customers who are fed up with their children being on their phones at the table or staying up late playing Xbox can now pause their Wi-Fi completely or set restrictions on individual devices following an update to the company’s Smart Hub 2

The new Wi-Fi Controls, which can be managed via the MyBT app or via the account settings on a browser, come as standard, for free, on the Smart Hub 2 and give parents or guardians greater control over how much time family members spend online. You will need to update the firmware on your Smart Hub 2, and the MyBT app to access these features. 

In particular, the features let customers pause internet access on up to 15 devices individually, set up time limits or group smart devices together. Alternatively, parents could use it as an incentive, rather than a punishment, by rewarding good behaviour with extra internet time or access to certain websites and games.

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“At BT, we are dedicated to keeping families connected and there’s so much entertainment and education available to us, but it’s also so important to have time away from screens,” said Pete Oliver, BT’s Managing Director for Consumer Marketing. “With our new Wi-Fi Controls, we’re helping families create a healthy relationship with technology, so families can decide when they want to be offline so they can focus on homework or enjoy quality time together.”

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Earlier this year, BT’s rival Sky introduced similar features as part of its Broadband Buddy app. It works in a similar way, letting parents control when the internet can and can’t be accessed on individual devices. It also lets them set age ratings on devices. The main difference with Sky’s offering, however, is that it’s a paid-for service – £2.50 for the first 18 months, rising to £5 at the end of this period – and is only available as part of the Sky Broadband Boost service. The benefit of paying this monthly fee is that the controls will also work when any device is connected to 3G/4G, in addition to Wi-Fi. 

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