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Doubts Cast Over Boris Johnsons Blanket London UK WiFi Plans for 2012

Posted: 30th Jun, 2010 By: MarkJ
London wi-fiThe Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, has reaffirmed his commitment to blanket the city in Wi-Fi broadband wireless internet access Hotspots before the 2012 Olympic Games (original news). As if to completely contradict this, a spokesperson for the mayor's office has now said that it might not even happen.

Speaking at the Greater London Authority’s annual State of London debate last week, Boris was keen to reiterate his plan and even talked about extending the Wi-Fi coverage to costly underground rail stations. The project would make use of existing street lights and bus stops to carry the service.

However, despite the obvious push for city-wide Wi-Fi coverage, many London boroughs and even Transport for London appear not to have had any contact from the Mayor about his plans. If that wasn't bad enough then what the Mayor's own office told PC Pro magazine yesterday is even less inspiring.

A Spokesperson for the mayor's office commented:

"Boris Johnson is ambitious about making this happen, but really we're not saying how this might be rolled out or even that it is going to happen. The major is passionate about access, but all he has done so far is mention it in a couple of meetings to see what people thought."

Confused? We certainly are. So is this is just a case of the media blowing up a storm about nothing? It's hard to equate what Boris said in May - "Every lamppost and every bus stop will one day very soon, and before the 2012 Olympics, be Wi-Fi enabled" - with something that has only been mentioned in couple of meetings just to "see what people thought".

A report on the BBC today suggested that more than half of London's councils have signed up for the scheme, known as Project WiFi, which the Mayor's own office claims doesn't technically exist yet. :baffled:
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