A high-street Internet provider is to unveil a major chain of managed Wi-Fi "hot spots" at locations across the UK.

Internet Exchange customers can pay a daily, monthly or annual connection fee. The charges are currently set at £5 for 24 hours or £20 for a month's unlimited access with membership. Without membership the charge is £40. The rates are less than a third of BT rates, the company claims. Internet Exchange will also have trained staff available at "hot spots".

The service is currently available at 17 branches in London, plus stores in Birmingham, Cambridge, Leeds, Manchester, Newcastle, York, Bristol, Southampton and Cardiff.

Internet Exchange CEO James Farquharson said: "Customers increasingly want to access the Internet from their own laptops, and Wi-Fi technology lets them do that. We also recognise that Mac users are among the early adopters of new technology, so wanted our hotspots to be fully AirPort compatible."

The news follows last week's revelation that IBN is to build a national Wi-Fi network in 3,000 UK pubs by the end of 2003.