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?