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Boris Johnson Promises 'WiFi London' By 2012 Olympics

Gordon Kelly


Boris Johnson Promises 'WiFi London' By 2012 Olympics

It could be argued the future of mobile broadband is Super 3G (myth busters: 4G doesn't exist), but we'll not be complaining if WiFi in London is also going to get its game together...

Speaking at Google's Zeitgeist in Hertfordshire last week London mayor Boris Johnson declared the city will become 'WiFi London' in time for the 2012 Olympics as the country's demand for access to all things web-based continues to spiral.

"It's thanks to Google that all of us sentient adults spend so much of our lives grazing absently like ruminants on this vast Serengeti of information," explained Johnson with his typically Borisonian lexicon. WiFi coverage will be at "every lamp post and bus stop" he declared.

Interestingly 22 of London's 32 boroughs have already agreed to Johnson's ambitious proposal.

Nice as all this is though I can't help but see troubles ahead:

1. Why not go with WiMAX which can cover miles of city at a time rather than worry about connecting "every lamp post and bus stop?"

2. Why not invest in better 3G coverage and introduce Super 3G which would benefit mobile phone reception as well?

3. Is Boris aware of the Digital Economy Act? This bill prosecutes the owner of a WiFi connection for the data downloaded on it by others. Won't this lead to lawsuits galore against the city?

We love it in theory Boris, but aside from having a chat with Nick Clegg, you may need to have a rethink...

Link: Daily Tech


May 24, 2010, 4:28 am

number one reason not to use wimax is that nothing in the UK uses it or has it, whereas everything from you mobile, mp3 player, laptops, and even tablets have wifi, meaning simple plug and play without any expensive totally unnecessary new technology purchases that would work nowhere else in the country or even in most places in the world!

even sprint in the US has said that wimax will loose out to LTE within a couple of years.


May 24, 2010, 9:43 am

Didn't you get the memo, Boris? "There's no money left." Remember? Other than that little hiccup, sounds great. Hope it goes down the Tube as well - well you know what I mean.


May 24, 2010, 1:55 pm

Wonder how the digital economy bill will cope with this one.


May 24, 2010, 9:56 pm

Are there any City-wide Wifi schemes that haven't been a failure? It seemed to be all the rage a few years ago, but the ones in the states seemed to fail to get started or have been shut down.

I'd question it's need as well. Pretty much all new phones have 3G capabilities, and I would hope that some kind of 4G service would be getting off the ground by 2012.


May 24, 2010, 10:15 pm

Keep it short and to the point-George Osborne £6.2bn Cuts WIFI??


May 26, 2010, 8:56 pm

"myth busters: 4G doesn't exist"

Thanks for pointing this out. Please keep it up, since just about every Stateside tech blog is swallowing their networks' '4G' marketing and I'd hate to think the Brits might do the same... ;)

If Boris just puts WiFi in Tube stations (or even trains?) and perhaps the Olympic venues too, I'll be happy. Set up a website to link my phone/laptop's MAC address with my Oyster card and then simply swipe to pay. Hey...

By 2012 3G will be faster and more reliable anyway, so I can manage without city-wide WiFi thanks.

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