London to be wireless by 2012

Posted on May 21, 2010

 

London’s enigmatic mayor, Boris Johnson, is rarely out the press. Whether he’s insulting entire cities (as he once did to Liverpool, before having to apologise) or whether he’s coming up with radical ideas, Boris courts the press like a professional.

The mayor’s latest idea, one that could potentially annoy telecommunications companies in London, is to have the whole of the capital wi-fi enabled in time for the 2012 Olympics. Boris hopes to have every part of London accessible to the Internet via wi-fi, including, in his own words, “every lamppost, every bus stop”.

22 boroughs in London have already agreed to put their names to the new project, called ‘Project WiFi’, but as yet no idea of a cost has been revealed. One potential idea for funding the scheme would be for Google to step forward and finance the project themselves, offering wi-fi access free of charge. That would surely annoy every telecommunications firm in London, but would give Boris exactly what he’s after.

The announcement from the Mayor of London came at a Google event that was held in Hertfordshire, and no doubt Google took careful note of what the mayor said.

Boris also commented on a new app for the iPhone that would show people where cycles have been left in the city’s forthcoming cycle hire scheme. A similar scheme already exists in Paris, where you hire bikes from a fixed point and drop them off at other fixed points around the city.

The mayor added:

“Not only can you see where the bikes are, but you will also be able to tell how many bikes the local yobbos have left there.”

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