BT has announced that it's half-way towards its target of putting together a network of 1,000,000 public Wi-Fi hotspots in 2009. 500,000 hotspots are now available at homes, offices and city centres in the UK and Ireland.

That total includes hotspots from the BT FON network, its Openzone hotspots, 12 "wireless" city centres and BT Openzone hotspots that have been enabled throuhg the BT Business hub. There's also a bunch of companies that operate hotspots, including Starbucks, Welcome Break and BA.

BT broadband customers get free access to the hotspots, and those who aren't can access the network for 0.5p per minute. Gavin Patterson, CEO of BT Retail told Pocket-lint: " As the UK's largest broadband retailer, we're happy to offer the biggest Wi-Fi network too. We'll continue to expand from here".