BT Installs Free Wi-Fi In London Pubs

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BT and Heineken have teamed up to offer BT Broadband customers Wi-Fi access in 100 London pubs

Drinkers in London will get free Wi-Fi access under a partnership between BT and Heineken to connect 100 of the capital’s independent pubs – if they are BT Broadband customers.

Any of BT Broadband’s five million customers logging on in designated pubs will gain access to a special area of the Internet called the Heineken Hub where the i newspaper will be supplying exclusive content.

The Independent’s sister title will provide location-specific news and features related to business, culture and sports, updated daily. BT says this is the first time this content has been available online.

The installations began in March and are almost complete across the 100 establishments, with plans in the offing to extend the scheme to 200 more pubs around the UK by the end of 2012. BT could not confirm the locations when contacted by eWEEK Europe this morning.

Out and about

In a similar announcement, public access Wi-Fi network provider The Cloud announced a deal with the Caffe Nero chain of coffee shops to provide free Wi-Fi in 450 UK stores. It is estimated this will reach more than a million customers a week.

Steve Nicholson, managing director of The Cloud said: “Consumers and business people now expect to be able to enjoy a quality Internet connection wherever they may be – for both social and work-related reasons – and coffee shops are one of the most popular places for people to do this.”

BT claims the scheme with Heineken pushes its total number of hotspots to more than three million, with 200,000 added in the last three months alone. This makes it the UK’s largest Wi-Fi network, the company said.

The telecoms giant has been steadily adding to its hotspot network in parallel to the proliferation of Wi-Fi enabled smartphones and tablets.

In January it said its hotspot network was just over two million when it launched a free iPad app giving BT Broadband customers in towns and cities access to roaming Internet without necessarily having to own a GPRS version of the tablet.

BT has also added Wi-Fi access at John Lennon Liverpool, Robin Hood Doncaster Sheffield and Teesside regional airports.

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