Free Wifi Comes To 100 London Pubs

Rachel Holdsworth
By Rachel Holdsworth Last edited 76 months ago
Free Wifi Comes To 100 London Pubs

London's slow crawl into the digital age continues: after wifi plans for 120 tube stations and the bus network, comes an announcement of free wifi at 100 pubs.

OK, so there are already a number of pubs offering free wifi as our ever-popular wifi map confirms. But without an overarching municipal system, these ad-hoc private expansions are the best current hope for frustrated 3G users (we say "users". What we mean is "people who spend countless hours staring at the sky holding their phones in the air, like this will make any chuffing difference"). This time it's BT and Heineken connecting drinkers in 100 pubs, with plans for another 200 across the UK by the end of 2012. We don't know exactly which pubs and bars make up the magic 100, but given the tie-in they're likely to be ones which feature Heineken prominently. So probably not your local real ale boozer.

We mentioned municipal systems earlier; back in 2009 Boris Johnson was talking about his vision of London where "every lamppost, every bus stop" would be pumping out free wifi. This clearly hasn't happened, and instead of a standard system like in, say, Venice, Londoners keep having to switch between networks, passworded or completely open, pay or free. And once commercial providers have established their little domains it's going to be very hard to retrofit a citywide network. We're pleased as punch there's more free wifi coming to town, but have we already lost the opportunity for simplification?

Photo by Simply Lewis from the Londonist Flickr pool

Last Updated 23 August 2011

Dean Nicholas

I feel compelled to once again defend 3G connectivity in the capital from its many detractors. The service from O2 isn't wi-fi perfect, but it's good enough. Orange I hear is particularly bad, but I can't really fault O2 all that much.

Jane Owen

Orange 3G is an absolute disgrace.

Venice is hardly a success either. Very patchy, though it worked well next to my favourite hole in the wall bar.

68M

Unfortunately if that happens I won't be going out to them.  I am electro-sensitive now since I had a couple of cell towers put up behind our apartment.  There are lots of other people who are experiencing the same thing.  Businesses should think of that before they have something installed that will halt 3 to 30% of their patrons from coming in.