Bewleys on Grafton St serves wireless access with coffee


10 Mar 2004

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Esat BT has signed a contract to provide Grafton St landmark Bewley’s Oriental Cafe with public wireless local area network (WLAN) technology that will allow customers to access the internet in high speed while enjoying their coffee. The move comes on the heels of news that US coffee chain Starbucks, itself a pioneer of public Wi-Fi, mulls over a move to Ireland.

It is understood that BT OpenZone will be available in the well-known James Joyce Room. Bewleys believes that the service will help drive traffic to the cafe and provide mobile warrior businesspeople with the ideal venue to meet or work between meetings.

Bewley’s is the latest venue to offer BT OpenZone WLAN access. There are approximately 85 BT Openzone access points distributed throughout Ireland in such venues as Dun Laoghaire Harbour, CityWest Business Campus, Cork’s Imperial Hotel, Sligo’s Tower Hotel and Killashee House Hotel in Kildare.

Users can pay for the BT Openzone service through vouchers bought at the various sites or through a subscription to Esat BT. A one-hour pass costs €10, a 24-hour pass costs €24 for unlimited usage and subscriptions cost €30 per month for 300 minutes access per month and €120 per month for unlimited access. Users of BT Openzone’s service can also access wi-fi across more than 400 sites throughout the UK.

“Bewley’s Café on Grafton Street is superbly located in the centre of the city. The Wi-Fi enabled James Joyce Room will be the perfect place for businesspeople to come and relax, meet with other executives, or just catch-up on their emails, while enjoying good food and coffee,” said Dermot DeLoughry, general manager of Bewley’s Oriental Cafes.

Paul Convery, BT Openzone’s Ireland manager commented: “With Wi-Fi, businesspeople can lead a much more flexible lifestyle and no longer have to travel back and forth to the office to simply check emails or go online. By adding efficiencies to peoples’ working lives, this technology also has a positive effect on the companies they work for. It is also catching on with leisure users who can now go ‘wireless’ at over 85 BT Openzone sites throughout Ireland.”

By John Kennedy