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Vicky Nolan

PubNet Reaches outside the Web

16 March 2001

For the multitudes of U.K. residents that lack access to the Internet at home or at work, PubNet has created an easy way to hop online and participate with the WWW community. The Internet access kiosks are found in a variety of places around the U.K., including local pubs, where consumers can bet on football matches, check their e-mail and quaff a pint or two.

To get online, users can purchase 10 minutes Internet access for just £1.

PubNet has struck a chord with the many U.K. residents that can't get online and made their Internet dreams possible. Along the way, the company has inked several high profile deals adding to its revenue stream.

Most recently, the company has signed deals with two person-to-person betting sites, and, to have a direct link on the kiosk's desktop. Players click a "betting" button and then sign on for some betting action. PubNet receives a "piece of the action" for each new account opened from the kiosks, explained company Chairman Alan Grace.

"We don't know the numbers of users," Grace added, "but it's taking off now." The company won't have their first figures until it receives its quarterly report from the two P2P betting site operators.

Users can also access a number of other bookmaking sites, such as Ladbrokes, William Hill, UK Betting, Zoobet and Coral Eurobet via the PubNet kiosks, and even play several online casino games. The only caveat is that users can't download anything onto the PubNet system, something the system is designed to prevent. On the other hand, before the machines are sent out, the company downloads any requisite software for the sites linked to from its portal.

Customers can additionally click a "games" button to reach the Game Zone, where they can play any of 12 games available. PubNet has also developed its own free e-mail service for customers who lacked email accounts, accessible at

Although the pub owners haven't taken advantage of the Internet kiosks as well as they should have, Grace said, the coin-ops manage to keep customers in their stools. The average customer spends 15 minutes online checking e-mail, plus according to Grace, "There has been a huge upsurge in usage for games and chat."

The average machine brings in £200 per month, while top earners bring in £800 to £1,200 a month. PubNet has placed kiosks in about 250 locales and 20 to 50 more locations are added each month, Grace said. PubNet kiosks will soon be cropping up in Ireland and Germany, he added.

The PubNet Internet kiosk is available from Public Internet Services Ltd., the operating company for Public Networks plc. More information can be found at their website,

PubNet Reaches outside the Web is republished from
Vicky Nolan
Vicky Nolan