back to article Hundreds of Brit pubs to offer free WiFi

BT Openzone and Heineken are teaming up to offer drinkers in 100 UK pubs Wi-Fi access. The partnership will then be extended to include another 200 bars and pubs by the end of 2012. The two have also done a deal with mini-Independent newspaper i to put its content online as part of the "Heineken hub". The Wi-Fi pub is of …


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  1. Mike Judge

    The biggest problem

    Is that you spend so much time faffing around with webpages and registering with BZOpenZOne and trying to log in just to get that "free" wifi.

    My Wetherspoons offers free Wifi, but in it's current guise, it's too much fucking around to get online, so I don't bother. I "suffer" with 3.5G..

    1. FanMan

      Try Boingo

      I highly recommend their £11 a month plan which gets you on with BT Openzone and a bunch of others.

      1. Anonymous Coward 101
        Thumb Down

        Try Boingo?

        Why, given it is more expensive than many mobile broadband deals?

  2. adnim Silver badge

    Free WiFi?

    "Access is free for BT Broadband customers".

    So for those of us who don't use BT broadband it isn't free?

    Should the title of this article then read:

    "Hundreds of brit pubs to offer free WiFi for BT broadband customers"?

    And here's me thinking I could do work at the local on those pleasant sunny afternoons, looks like I will have to stick to my garden and bottles of real ale.

    1. Andrew 66

      Free for more than that...

      If they are true BT Openzone hotspots (which annoyingly most aren't), then they are also included in mobile plans that offer free WiFi from at least O2 and Vodafone.

      It should be the case that if you have BT Openzone access already, you should be able to use it there.

      1. Still Water

        The title is required, and must contain letters and/or digits.

        I've not managed to find many proper OpenZone hotspots that aren't associated with a BTFON point - OpenZone hotspots are included in many mobile plans, but OpenZone hotspots associated with BTFON points (ie home routers) aren't.

        Confusing? Er, yup, especially since there's sometimes no way of telling what hotspot type it is without just trying it, only for it to fail...

        1. Andrew 66


          I've found that too, it's a bloddy nightmare! Especially as FON points identify themselves as Openzone...

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward


            It's a bit of a mess isn't it.

            As a BT customer I get free access to Openzone/FON, so I installed their Openzone client onto my Android phone so it would hop onto wifi when available...

            Within a day it had screwed up my wifi configuration, stopping it connecting to anything, even APs I already had configured, and then prevented the backlight from going off!

            I uninstalled it and just have to remember my details to log in old school style.

        2. Joe Montana

          Unusable openzone hotspots

          Not only are the wrong type of open zone hotspots not usable, but if your phone is configured to automatically connect to the BTOpenZone SSID you will often find yourself connected to these things but completely unable to do anything.

          I have pretty much given up using openzone because of this, and when my plan comes up for renewal will be looking for one without it.

          1. Richard 51

            Mobile is often better than openzone

            Its really annoying when FON disguises itself as openzone and screws up your phone or laptop. But I often find in hotels, airports etc that mobile broadband is just as fast or even quicker than openzone unless you are right underneath the router.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        ... the bundled BT openzone with vodafone nonsense

        Been with Vodafone for a few years, supposed to get access to BTopenzone but not once have i been able to get it working.... usually there is an issue with the openzone page connecting with the vodafone page...

        Now i don't bother.

        Besides beer and expensive laptops do not mix, and my generic brand smart phone has its own 3g and my galaxy tablet is mostly used with offline tasks.

    2. PsychicMonkey

      I'm guessing

      they are pointing out that access to openzone is free for BT subscribers, but that others have to pay for it. Except in places like the pub's where it's paid for by the sponsers.

      Think I'll go and see if my local has free wifi yet....

  3. Anonymous Coward

    Which British King followed George IV?

    This will be the final nail in the coffin for honest and fair pub quizzes.

    1. Richard IV

      Silly Billy

      It will just need questions that aren't quickly/easily searchable on Wikipedia and a time limit.

      Whose wife was the capital of South Australia named after?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        named after

        the wife of King William IV.

        2 searches, 2 mins, 1 to find the name, one to find who it was named after.

        There are questions that aren't easily searchable, but they aren't easy to do, especially for a pub quiz. There are even questions where the searchable answers are wrong, if you don't go into enough detail! ie (from QI) what is the smallest county in England?

    2. Luke McCarthy

      It's already dead

      Thanks to mobile broadband. But I guess they could switch the WiFi off when doing the quiz.

  4. Christopher Rogers

    Never mind that

    So BT are gonna offer me a better broadband service from the local boozer than from my own home...

    1. Andrew 66

      Well, they are BT... probably...

      ..although I am still yet to find a WiFi hotspot that works before the twelfth attempt at connecting...

  5. NikT
    Thumb Down

    100 != "hundreds"

    How many are there? A hundred or many hundreds?

    1. Sir Cosmo Bonsor

      Pedantry fail

      The article quite unambiguously states that it'll be rolled out to a total of 300 boozers by the end of next year.

  6. geekclick
    Thumb Up

    8 hours battery life...

    Happy days :D

  7. John I'm only dancing

    Fully charged batteries

    A good supply of these should be sufficient to keep you productive, until the alcohol finally takes its toll.

  8. Anonymous Coward

    Nothing new

    My local boozer has the Cloud, as does its near neighbour, a Wetherspoons.

    I have no problems getting online in either and the bandwidth is fine, even for streaming video.

    1. Jess

      @I have no problems getting online in either

      (Apart from the fact that the log in only works with about half the phones/browsers I've tried)

      Nor do I apart, from the wasted minutes for the pointless screens.

      Why doesn't it just use the MAC address, and require a simple one off registration?

      (ie with a plain HTML interface) To associate it with a person's email address or mobile number, instead of the unauthenticated email address it currently uses.

    2. Britt Johnston

      man bites dog

      What if the news was


  9. tmTM


    Sinking many pints of ale and then logging on to send some work e-mails?

  10. Purlieu

    Business opportunity

    1. Code Monkey
      Thumb Up

      Dear Sir/Madam

      I find your ideas intriguing and would like to subscribe to your newsletter.


      HM Govt Dept of Big-assed Seektrits

  11. Gary Riches

    I was thinking the same

    I couldn't happily spend more than 7-8 hours in a pub... with or without broadband.

  12. farizzle

    Virgin will be smiling

    as they poked the bear when they announced their city-wide free WiFi plans hahahaha!

  13. Pete 43

    All we need now is

    Alcohol fuel cells

  14. Lars Petersson

    Battery life?

    You're clearly not regular enough, my local cheerfully let me charge my devices if they run dry.

  15. Peter Galbavy

    it's not free

    It's not free if you are required to provide your personal details for marketing purposes. Even if you tick the "no junk mail" box, this is BT and they will sell your private information quicker than a racoon will jump in a dustbin.

    1. Cameron Colley

      Whose personal details do you have to supply?

      If it's anything like Wetherspoons you just supply a throwaway email address (can't recall if it's verified) and whichever name you're calling yourself that day.

      So, They may have the details of Pubby McPubson ( but nothing of any value to them.

    2. Anonymous Coward

      You are a fool if you provide genuine details when not genuinely required

      I only supply genuine details when the service _really_ needs my personal details to supply a service to me, every other site gets fake and maybe plausible details, and a dump email address, or I refuse to deal with them.

      Nosey marketeers can go swivel on a red hot poker or a Stiletto.

      A dedicated pub or eatery WiFi is generally far better than BT OpenZone, even if you have to 'register' (fake details), then login each visit.

  16. Robert Ramsay
    Thumb Down


    I'm still not drinking their beer.

  17. Pete 39

    Better Abroad

    Just back from Turkey. Free WiFi, and occasionally power too, in most bars and cafes. Find the bar's SSID, enter the password the staff give you or point out on the menu, off you go. Good enough for browsing, occasionally for video too. Nothing to pay above buying a beer. Just make sure you have the firewall on and that you use a limited account on the PC.

    It might be a loss leader but I imagine once one bar started doing it (for tourists) they all had to or loose trade. Mabe one day it will be better here too, or is there some legal aspect?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Not long back from Greece.

      Pretty much every bar had a wifi hotspot and a netbook connected to either a streaming service or internet radio for their PA.

      Judging by the amount their routers were going (in an empty bar) they were probably torrenting "linux distributions" as well.

  18. b166er


    Heineken, don't sully your good name with these f*ckwads.

    (but please do sort out your distribution channel)

  19. IsJustabloke Silver badge

    I refuse to enoble a simple forum post!

    My local has had free wi-fi for about 2years now.... they never change the password so when I go in there my phone / lappy automagically connects to it :D

    AH... how very civilised.....

  20. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

    The pub next door

    There's a really nice pub next door to my office. I can get the office WiFi from the garden. And my iPad can last 10 hours on a battery charge. If you've been in the pub long enough to run the battery flat, and can still operate a computer, you're doing it wrong.

    It's Friday afternoon, and I promise I'm at my desk. Honest...

  21. Zot

    Please stop using the word 'Brit'!

    I personally think it sounds condescending.

    Shall we start calling Americans - Amers?

    That is all - having a bad day! : )

    1. spegru

      you must be new here

      we already have a word for the merkins

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      "Brit" is just an abbreviation, and as a Brit I don't mind it.

      Then again I do call Americans, yanks, septics and 'merkins (look it up).

      1. Zot
        Thumb Up

        Right, but I prefer Merkuns...

        ..It sounds more like the way Bush Jnr. says it. "My fellow Merkuns!"

    3. Hud Dunlap

      The proper term is Yank

      We are called that all of the time.

  22. Joe Montana

    No plugs..

    They might not let you use their plugs, but do they have any rules against bringing a small generator into the pub?

    Or you could just carry a stack of batteries.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      yep, 2nd battery

      I used to have a Compaq Armada M700 with a 2nd battery in the drvie bay, I could work for 7 hours without having to go back inside to my desk. I could sit in the smoking area and get more done than I could at my desk. It was great.*

      *, except when filtering sniffer traces, those types of activites tended to reduce the battery life quite a bit.

  23. Mondo the Magnificent

    Cyber Burp...

    Two pints of lager and a download of midget porn please!

  24. Burch

    Am I missing something?

    Loads of pubs already offer this and have done for ages.

  25. Gannon (J.) Dick

    Free WiFi

    Didn't know it had been arrested. Pity that.

  26. Linbox

    Title? we don't need no stinking title.

    third para of wikipedia article on Adelaide; "Named in honour of Queen Adelaide, the German-born consort of King William IV, the city was ....".

  27. Christian Berger Silver badge

    How much does the billig cost?

    How much does the billing cost, and how much profit could the pubs make by just opening up the network and putting an "internet tip jar" somewhere?

  28. Andus McCoatover


    Many premises will not let you use a plug to recharge your laptop therefore limiting the working/drinking day to the length of time your battery lasts.

    Er... All my locals will let you plug in. Most've even got phone chargers if your phone battery dies.

    All will give you access to their WiFi, but we have panoulu ( if there's a problem.

    I thought it was about attracting customers.

    Ah. OK, got it. Thank God and king George I got out to Finland, never to return.

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