London-wide network more sci-fi than Wi-Fi

Boris Johnson's ambitious plans played down by City Hall officials

Stewart Mitchell
29 Jun 2010

City Hall has played down reports concerning Mayor of London Boris Johnson's plans for a London-wide Wi-Fi network linked by access points posted on “every lamp post, every bus stop“.

Speaking at the recent State of London debate, Johnson expanded on his vision of a Wi-Fi blanket over London – this time suggesting that coverage could be extended into London Underground stations.

But London officials said the plan hadn't even been discussed with any of the boroughs that would need to be involved in the scheme, nor with Transport for London, which would need to be involved in any plans involving its street furniture or Tube stations.

“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,” a spokesperson for the mayor's office told PC Pro.

“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.”

However, the spokesperson did say that the Greater London Authority planned a meeting with the 32 London boroughs to discuss the issues next month. “We're not in a position to move this forward at all without the boroughs” the spokesperson said, also scotching talk that network provider The Cloud was being lined up to provide coverage.

“We're certainly not in a position to employ any service provider to help run a Wi-Fi service,” the spokesperson said.

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