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Pub chain JD Wetherspoon will offer free wireless broadband access as of next week, it has been announced.

Customers will be able to access the internet for unlimited time throughout the chain's 680 pubs in England and Scotland and Wales, as the firm tries to lure back customers in the wake of the smoking ban.

Wetherspoon group chief executive John Hutson said: "We are keen to provide our customers with as many different services as possible while they are in our pubs. This new facility will allow customers to enjoy a drink or something to eat in our pubs, while at the same time being able to log on to their e-mail and internet for free."

The service will be available as of December 3rd, he added.

Wetherspoon's move follows McDonald's announcement earlier this year that it will be offering free wireless broadband access at 1,200 outlets by the end of 2007, as more and more businesses look to increase footfall through such offers.

McDonald's free service is provided by UK ISP The Cloud.

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