FREE wireless internet access will be provided in 3,000 pubs run by a Burton-based company.
Punch Taverns, which has its head office in the Centrum 100 business park, announced it had signed a deal with internet company The Cloud to install the service, known as wi-fi, in two thirds of its pubs by the end of March.
Such facilities are already available in many chains across Britain.
Julie Clamp, machine development manager at Punch, said: “This free initiative puts our pubs on a level with managed houses, national coffee and restaurant chains.
“We have already seen pubs making the most of the opportunity wi-fi offers, through introducing meeting space for business users, adding or upgrading a coffee offer to increase dwell time or adding social media followers through use of wi-fi.
“We will be working with our licensees and The Cloud to make the most of the benefits that wi-fi offers and to encourage our pubs to capitalise on this industry-leading opportunity.”
The Cloud said it provided wireless internet services, which allow patrons to use laptops and mobile phones, to 9,000 pubs in Britain. Three thousand from Punch’s 5,000-strong estate will now be added to this.
Vince Russell, The Cloud’s managing director, said: “As the largest wi-fi provider to the pub industry, we’re seeing demand for wi-fi constantly increase – usage on our network nationwide has doubled in the last 12 months, for example – and Punch is another great example of a company offering a fast and reliable internet connection where customers really value it.
“Our wi-fi also gives pubs a new opportunity to engage with their customers through promotions, offers and advertising on the landing page when customers log on.
“More importantly, The Cloud also offers a family-friendly environment by filtering out adult content across our network, so pub customers are able to surf the web with the confidence that their children won’t run the risk of being exposed to inappropriate material.”