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London Installing Largest Free Wifi Network

Unknown Lamer posted more than 2 years ago | from the o2-hates-bees dept.

The Internet 158

aesoteric writes "London's Westminster, Kensington and Chelsea districts will be delivered the largest free wi-fi zone in Europe. The plan is to provide the service in time for the 2012 London Olympics, which start in late July, to allow visitors and residents to get more out of their stay."

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Happy 2012 from the Golden Girls! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38647592)

Thank you for being a friend
Traveled down the road and back again
Your heart is true, you're a pal and a cosmonaut.

And if you threw a party
Invited everyone you ever knew
You would see the biggest gift would be from me
And the card attached would say, thank you for being a friend.

Re:Happy 2012 from the Golden Girls! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38647728)

Why do you keep posting this?

I so sorry...lemme fix that for YOU (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38648046)

Life goes on, and so do we,
Just how we do it is no mystery.
One by one (one by one), we fill the days,
We find a thousand different ways.

Sometimes the answer can be hard to find (hard to find),
That's something I will never be.
I'm always here, for anything you need (anything you need).

Rain or shine, I'll be the one,
to share it all as life goes on.
We share it all, as life goes on.

Re:Happy 2012 from the Golden Girls! (-1, Offtopic)

stoborrobots (577882) | more than 2 years ago | (#38649778)

I know I'm just getting trolled, but...

It's "you're a pal and a confidant"

Read the fine print (5, Interesting)

LoudMusic (199347) | more than 2 years ago | (#38647594)

Read the fine print when you agree to their terms of service.

FREE INTERNET FOR THE PEOPLE!! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38647598)

and free THE INTERNET for the PEOPLE!

Re:FREE INTERNET FOR THE PEOPLE!! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38647636)

and free THE INTERNET of PEOPLE!

FTFY (in other words: time to create something parallel with the Internet as we know it today?).

Re:FREE INTERNET FOR THE PEOPLE!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38648350)

a new tcp stack (modernized to 'share') and public airwaves?

All the better to watch you with, my dear (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38647632)

I'm guessing it won't be anonymous.

Re:All the better to watch you with, my dear (1)

stanlyb (1839382) | more than 2 years ago | (#38647656)

Anonymous? With all these surveillance cams everywhere??? You joking?

Re:All the better to watch you with, my dear (3, Insightful)

AHuxley (892839) | more than 2 years ago | (#38647710)

They get your MAC, browsing habits, voice print and face - for free.

Re:All the better to watch you with, my dear (1)

c0lo (1497653) | more than 2 years ago | (#38647834)

Noooo! Seriously? I can no longer change my MAC address or spoof one? Since when?

Re:All the better to watch you with, my dear (4, Informative)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 2 years ago | (#38648000)

Depends on your hardware. Recent intel "centrino" wifi chips can not change their MACs- I found this out personally because the driver under linux lets you try to change the MAC, but if you try to use it with one of these new chips it just fails to work over the air.

Re:All the better to watch you with, my dear (3, Informative)

c0lo (1497653) | more than 2 years ago | (#38648040)

Have some USB dongles [ebay.com] by the metric tonne - if you are about to do something that I wouldn't advice you to, use one for some mins and then pass it around.

Re:All the better to watch you with, my dear (4, Funny)

muon-catalyzed (2483394) | more than 2 years ago | (#38648028)

I can no longer change my MAC address or spoof one? Since when?

A change of your MAC or IP is a criminal offence, remember, as every newborn you have an IPv6 in your birth certificate and screening profile attached to it from day one.

--Judge Dredd

Re:All the better to watch you with, my dear (1)

TheTurtlesMoves (1442727) | more than 2 years ago | (#38648878)

Hay what a great idea... lets tattoo it on the person as a QR code at birth! All problems solved *one and for all*.

Re:All the better to watch you with, my dear (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38648356)

They don't care about a handful of paranoid nerds anyway. Most people either do not know how or cannot be assed to do it. That's more than enough for the purpose.

Re:All the better to watch you with, my dear (1)

c0lo (1497653) | more than 2 years ago | (#38648490)

Until "We are legion, we do not forget, etc" creeps into the picture?

Re:All the better to watch you with, my dear (1)

ae1294 (1547521) | more than 2 years ago | (#38649950)

That's why the FED created Caterday. One by one they will take over every day with cute pictures of our animal overlords.

Re:All the better to watch you with, my dear (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38647880)

The question to ask is: how does the Olympics and/or city of London benefit from visitors and residents getting more out of their stay?

In the short term, a treasure trove of data about what people are talking about, linked to an approximate address, tied to Olympic attendees.

In the longer term, ...?

Re:All the better to watch you with, my dear (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38648776)

How weird is that porn you watch that you're so worried someone else knows you're watching?

Re:All the better to watch you with, my dear (1)

IronHalik (1568993) | more than 2 years ago | (#38649332)

$5/mo VPS, cloned MAC, SSH tunnel.

Not for everyday Joe, but I personally feel much better on every public network.

Re:All the better to watch you with, my dear (2)

DrXym (126579) | more than 2 years ago | (#38649886)

I expect any public wifi network will be locked down so the only things you can do on it are browse the web and a few other well defined actions. Last thing they would want is people leeching bandwidth to download movies, voip, or anything else of that nature. So I bet VPN is one of the first things they disable. Unless you can tunnel a VPN over http you probably won't get far. Even then I expect they put bandwidth caps on http traffic to stop or at least disrupt people trying to do that.

Re:All the better to watch you with, my dear (1)

ohnocitizen (1951674) | more than 2 years ago | (#38647892)

Its brilliant budgeting of public tax dollars and a PR move all in one! The CCTV cameras are the hotspots.

Re:All the better to watch you with, my dear (3, Informative)

c0lo (1497653) | more than 2 years ago | (#38647666)

I'm guessing it won't be anonymous.

I can't imagine how the identification would work.
TFA

In Westminster alone, it could be providing internet access to half a million tourists each day, 250,000 residents and 500,000 workers.

Half a million of tourists - would they plan to ask for a "tourist id" for granting access?

Re:All the better to watch you with, my dear (0)

bbqsrc (1441981) | more than 2 years ago | (#38647734)

It's called a MAC address.

What is this obsession with false security? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38647764)

Seriously, a MAC address?

Hahahah.

Like a Mac Address cannot be spoofed, cannot be varied, cannot be transferred through exchangeable USB WiFi sticks, or even through a hot spot that bridges to the MuWiFi.

Re:All the better to watch you with, my dear (3, Informative)

nzac (1822298) | more than 2 years ago | (#38647990)

Your mac address is as easy to set as you IP on Linux and unlike IP address on wifi you can pick whatever you like (though most are obviously fake).
Take your pick:
http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Changing_Your_MAC_Address/Linux [wikibooks.org]

Its also pretty easy on any other *NIX

Just windows does not come with a built in to do it.

Re:All the better to watch you with, my dear (1)

bbqsrc (1441981) | more than 2 years ago | (#38648136)

The common tourist doesn't know how to change it. The common iPhone user doesn't know how to change it. I'd even say the common Android user doesn't know how to change it. All because it _can_ be changed doesn't mean it _will_ be changed.

Re:All the better to watch you with, my dear (1)

nzac (1822298) | more than 2 years ago | (#38648368)

If you don't know it can be changed, chances are you have no need to change it.

The people who don't know, don't care and probably have nothing to hide and give them selves away in many other ways.

Unless you are paranoid the government its out everyone that is.

Re:All the better to watch you with, my dear (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38648984)

You're adorable

Re:All the better to watch you with, my dear (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38649818)

My MAC address is 00-B0-D0-86-BB-F7, now who am I?

Re:All the better to watch you with, my dear (1)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 2 years ago | (#38647950)

I can't imagine how the identification would work.

MAC address, computer/browser fingerprinting or they can just sniff your e-mail/facebook/other login.

Setting up a network of hostile access points would be the easiest thing in the world for a third party.

Re:All the better to watch you with, my dear (2)

c0lo (1497653) | more than 2 years ago | (#38648516)

MAC address, computer/browser fingerprinting or they can just sniff your e-mail/facebook/other login.

Setting up a network of hostile access points would be the easiest thing in the world for a third party.

Tor network? Organized over some hundreds of points using the same free WiFi?

Re:All the better to watch you with, my dear (1)

Pieroxy (222434) | more than 2 years ago | (#38648788)

Https should be sufficient. Or just install a proxy at home and tunnel all your requests to it via ssh. I mean, ther's a shitload of options here.

Re:All the better to watch you with, my dear (1)

AHuxley (892839) | more than 2 years ago | (#38648864)

https was until people saw what a carrieriq like layer can do ;)

Wireless@SG (5, Interesting)

mjwx (966435) | more than 2 years ago | (#38648504)

In Westminster alone, it could be providing internet access to half a million tourists each day, 250,000 residents and 500,000 workers.

Half a million of tourists - would they plan to ask for a "tourist id" for granting access?

They should just ask Singapore how Singapore handles it.

Wireless@SG works in most places I've tried it (Changi Airport, Orchid road). I get the code from the info booth at the airport, valid for 4 hours and wander around Singapore for a bit before my next flight. Handy for long stopovers. A beer in SG is expensive enough, doubly so in an airport (S$13 last time I was there).

The simple way would be registration via an email address, get a code for Wireless@LON for 14 days. Beyond this, SMS codes. seeing as these are captive portals, you regester to have an access code SMS'ed to any UK phone (probably work for any EU phone).

Re:All the better to watch you with, my dear (1)

DrXym (126579) | more than 2 years ago | (#38649974)

I can't imagine how the identification would work.

There is no reliable way for the proposed amount of traffic and user profile (tourists). I expect the wifi will prompt users to agree to terms of service on first use and then track the MAC to measure the duration of their session. The terms of service screen could also issue a cookie to recognize returning users.

The truly paranoid could counter these if they had to but I wonder why they would. If someone is that paranoid then maybe they shouldn't be using a free government funded wifi service in the first place. If the police wanted to spy on someone, how dumb do you have to be to use their service? Not only do they glean some amount of forensic data but they also probably know your exact location and could train cameras down on you and watch you do it.

It's not like it is hard to obtain internet in the UK from any number of cafes, pubs etc, which would afford far greater anonymity and less oversight than some blanket wifi which is likely to be locked down pretty tight and logged. Failing that, 3G keys and pay as you go tariffs are easy enough to obtain.

Are you sure... (0)

Haxagon (2454432) | more than 2 years ago | (#38647646)

...that it's not just for theur CCTV cameras? I'm pretty sure that China has a similar WiFi setup.

Re:Are you sure... (1)

Kinky Bass Junk (880011) | more than 2 years ago | (#38647792)

Would almost certainly be for tracking individuals. Sounds similar to a DARPA project [wikipedia.org] .

VOIP instead of roaming (2)

spasm (79260) | more than 2 years ago | (#38647674)

I hope they keep it up afterwards. It'd be nice to be able to use google voice / skype / other VOIP solutions on my smartphone instead of paying obscene international roaming charges or screwing around jailbreaking and getting local sim cards.

Re:VOIP instead of roaming (2)

itsme1234 (199680) | more than 2 years ago | (#38648072)

I was about to say that UK is one of the countries where 3G access (assuming no Olympics/megaoverload as you did) is really dirt cheap (at least compared to, well, everything else you can buy in London) but now I see, you are "one of those". Guess what, the providers are selling locked phones BECAUSE PEOPLE BUY THEM. There is another obvious alternative: JUST BUY A FREAKING UNLOCKED PHONE.
UK also doesn't ask the SIMs to be tied to IDs or sold only to residents or any other nonsense; and many of them don't expire for a long time (and to extend them you just need to send one SMS which you can do from abroad). And you can recharge them from anywhere (via paypal for example) CHEAPER than "in person" (you pay less than 10 pounds to get 10 pounds of credit for example).
Everything is perfect already, except that you let yourself locked by a provider, possibly halfway across the world. Who can also decide to disable your voip apps as well at any time by the way.

Re:VOIP instead of roaming (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38649234)

O2 is one of the better UK providers in that respect. My iPhone was locked originally, but I went with O2 because at the time (mid-2010) they said they would unlock it properly at the end of the contract period. No jailbreaks, no risk of bricking after software updates, etc.

Now it turns out that they will unlock it even before the end of the contract (though I'm still on the hook for the monthly fee till the end, of course). Just have to ask them.

Re:VOIP instead of roaming (2, Informative)

duguk (589689) | more than 2 years ago | (#38649786)

O2 is one of the better UK providers in that respect. My iPhone was locked originally, but I went with O2 because at the time (mid-2010) they said they would unlock it properly at the end of the contract period. No jailbreaks, no risk of bricking after software updates, etc.

Now it turns out that they will unlock it even before the end of the contract (though I'm still on the hook for the monthly fee till the end, of course). Just have to ask them.

O2 are great for their signal, but their pricing does take the piss.

When you've finished your contract; maybe try Giffgaff [giffgaff.com] . There's no phone support (it all online), so they're a lot cheaper (£10/mo for unlimited data and text, and 250 mins) - and they still use the O2 network. The support you get from the community is astounding, and they do pay people back quite a lot for helping out.

They've even got a wiki [giffgaff.com] to help you unlock your phone. Definitely worth a look.

Re:VOIP instead of roaming (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38649908)

Are you sure that your endorsement is not a result of being able to slip your referral code into the order URL? Clear your cookies and click here to order without giving kickbacks to spammers. [giffgaff.com] Mod spammer parent down.

Re:VOIP instead of roaming (1)

duguk (589689) | more than 2 years ago | (#38649932)

Are you sure that your endorsement is not a result of being able to slip your referral code into the order URL? Clear your cookies and click here to order without giving kickbacks to spammers. [giffgaff.com] Mod spammer parent down.

Hey! That's not spamming to use an affiliate code. Sure; clear your cookies if you want - but you won't get anything extra or lose anything for it; so why are you so offended?

I was just providing a link to a company I've been impressed with. Whatever happened to paying it forward?

Re:VOIP instead of roaming (1)

Djehuty3 (1371395) | more than 2 years ago | (#38649710)

Just buy a £20 shitphone from Tesco - it'll usually come with £10 credit too.

T-Minus (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38647696)

This is going to blow up (in the funny sort of way) when someone downloads CP on this network or harasses some kid on FB. It'd be even crazier if they left it entirely unsecured and someone showed up with firesheep.

Hillarity aside, this could actually drive home the point that an IP address != an identity.

Pay for it yourselves (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38647712)

People can fly from all over the world for two bloody weeks of "games," but G-d forbid they buy a sim or pay for connectivity. All the while, the rest of England get fuck all.

Re:Pay for it yourselves (1)

xaxa (988988) | more than 2 years ago | (#38649062)

People can fly from all over the world for two bloody weeks of "games," but G-d forbid they buy a sim or pay for connectivity. All the while, the rest of England get fuck all.

15% of England lives in London.

Any anyway, "The deal, which will run at no cost to the councils or the taxpayer" and "O2 Wifi launched in January 2011 with the ambition to roll out free, fast and open wifi, via strategic partnerships, across the UK."

Re:Pay for it yourselves (1)

The Askylist (2488908) | more than 2 years ago | (#38649256)

15% of England certainly doesn't live in the leafy and expensive boroughs of Westminster, Kensington and Chelsea.

Nor are the Olympics being held there.

Good luck getting your free WiFi from Stratford, or anywhere east of Shoreditch.

Re:Pay for it yourselves (1)

mlk (18543) | more than 2 years ago | (#38649846)

According to TFA it is ad-supported, not tax-payer supported.

minus 1, tro7l) (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38647750)

its corpse turned intentions and Many of us are Ochannel #GNAA on of events today, development. BSD open platform, took precedence our ability to THE PROJECT AS A

Lots of cash to spend (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38647840)

I guess they had to do something with all that bloody congestion charge money.

Predictions of the future! (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38647848)

T minus one week: Everyone scrambles to get the network up and running.

T minus one hour: Large news event, hosted by the BBC, to throw the ceremonial comedically large switch.

T minus zero: Network is live. Cheers occur.

T plus one second: Twitchy, caffeine-addled basement dweller discovers this network will not enable him to download his 58PB of pirated anime porn every month like he thought* he would be able to.

T plus one-point-five seconds: Blog post goes up.

T plus two seconds: Echo chamber agrees, internet declares service to be utterly without merit, useless, and a direct affront to freedom because of this.

T plus five seconds: Someone discovers someone else somewhere might be looking at them while they use the wireless network, immediate accusations of government spying start, numerous ill-informed references to Nineteen Eighty-Four permeate discussion.

T plus five-point-five seconds: Blog post goes up.

T plus six seconds: Echo chamber agrees, internet declares service to be utterly without merit, useless, and a direct affront to freedom because of this.

T plus ten seconds: Cloistered, sheltered nerd sits in complete befuddlement, absolutely baffled as to why on earth anyone would have any objections to him hosting his array of torrents on this network, sucking down every last slice of bandwidth available.

T plus ten-point-five seconds: Blog post goes up.

T plus eleven seconds: Echo chamber agrees, internet declares service to be utterly without merit, useless, and a direct affront to freedom because of this.

*: By which I mean "deluded himself into believing".

Re:Predictions of the future! (1)

AHuxley (892839) | more than 2 years ago | (#38648884)

might be looking at them while they use the wireless network
In the UK thats a given with voice http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1041011/MI5-launch-spy-sky-UK-manhunt-British-Taliban-fought-Afghanistan.html [dailymail.co.uk]
"searching for voice matches" "... monitor mobile-phone calls. More recently they have been fitted with equipment capable of picking up signals from wi-fi computer networks."

Re:Predictions of the future! (4, Insightful)

andrewbaldwin (442273) | more than 2 years ago | (#38649078)

Shame you posted AC - and shame I haven't any mod points because this is a pretty good post and a fair reflection on the attitudes of many.

You've missed a few nuances:
The Daily Mail somehow contriving to blame "the fiasco" [ie any deviation from perfect performance] on the BBC, the EU, Muslims...

Rupert Murdoch's mates "hacking" the service (ie just exploiting human fallibility and poor security practices but glamorising it beyond belief)

The Slashdot meme of surveillance cameras everywhere - and how they'd use the bandwidth

The sanctimonious posing by Boris Johnson and cronies about how they're "investing for London" and the "Olympic legacy" -- followed by the quiet dismantling and removing of the service later.

I'm sure there are other suggestions - but your post was particularly good.

Re:Predictions of the future! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38649968)

ONLY Americans would be able to...
1. at the same time act as if wanting to watch a lot of porn was a bad thing, and *do it all the time*.
2. manage to get from "'pirating' is a propaganda term used to brainwash you into thinking file sharing would hurt anybody" (fact) to *actually being brainwashed to think like this*.
3. know that London is stuffed with surveillance cameras and *still think the governmentâ(TM)s WiFi network won't be monitored.
4. be one of the only countries in the world with insane traffic and bandwidth caps, and at the same time *not be able to imagine such caps being used to limit one person hogging said network.

What the fuck is *wrong* with you??

Wifi Free? (2)

jamesh (87723) | more than 2 years ago | (#38647866)

I read that as "Wifi Free" at first and thought the "wifi causes cancer" nutjobs had won...

Re:Wifi Free? (1)

Pieroxy (222434) | more than 2 years ago | (#38648808)

I read that as "Wifi Free" at first and thought the "wifi causes cancer" nutjobs had won...

But, but ... Wifi causes cancer! Or does it not ? ;-)

Re:Wifi Free? (2)

jamesh (87723) | more than 2 years ago | (#38648862)

I read that as "Wifi Free" at first and thought the "wifi causes cancer" nutjobs had won...

But, but ... Wifi causes cancer! Or does it not ? ;-)

Probably at about the same rate as breathing in and out causes cancer.

Re:Wifi Free? (1)

Pieroxy (222434) | more than 2 years ago | (#38649082)

I read that as "Wifi Free" at first and thought the "wifi causes cancer" nutjobs had won...

But, but ... Wifi causes cancer! Or does it not ? ;-)

Probably at about the same rate as breathing in and out causes cancer.

Of course, but since you don't stop breathing while using Wifi, I'd argue it raises your risk of getting cancer !

All new meaning to... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38647886)

Radio Free Europe

say what? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38647910)

Wtf? Free wifi in a European country?! Does not compute. I was almost certain that "Free", "Insert any service here", and "" could NEVER coexist in the same sentence.... Go to London, pay eleventy pounds for parking, pay to use restroom, pay to breathe air, pay to blink eyes, pay to use sidewalk, but Wifi is now freeeee! Oh wait, only because of the Olympics.

Re:say what? (1)

Pieroxy (222434) | more than 2 years ago | (#38648816)

Good point actually. Is something wrong in a country where you can't take a leak for free but you can access the internet for free?

Methinks yes. But that's me.

Re:say what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38649334)

Better than a country where if you are a man and take a leak in public you can be tried as a sex offender.

Re:say what? (4, Informative)

xaxa (988988) | more than 2 years ago | (#38649044)

Wtf? Free wifi in a European country?! Does not compute. I was almost certain that "Free", "Insert any service here", and "" could NEVER coexist in the same sentence.... Go to London, pay eleventy pounds for parking, pay to use restroom, pay to breathe air, pay to blink eyes, pay to use sidewalk, but Wifi is now freeeee! Oh wait, only because of the Olympics.

The parking (and congestion) charges are to discourage car use. Many Londoners, including me, don't even own a car.

But there's plenty of free things to do in London -- more than any other city I've ever visited. Some great museums: the Natural History Museum, the Science Museum and the Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A) at South Kensington are free. So is the British Museum, in Holborn. The Museum of London (in the City) is free, as is the Imperial War Museum (Lambeth). That's just the biggest ones, there are at least 20 more not-insignificant free museums.

There are markets, old buildings (cathedrals etc), big art galleries, parks, palaces, the river, theatre, many small gigs are free... and that's just the normal, year-round stuff. There should be free one-off events, though it's obviously worth planning if you want to see something in particular.

Try these websites:
http://www.visitlondon.com/tag/free-attractions [visitlondon.com]
http://www.timeout.com/london/feature/1424/free-london [timeout.com]
http://www.daysoutguide.co.uk/free-london [daysoutguide.co.uk]
http://londonist.com/tags/lotclist [londonist.com]

Best use (2)

c0lo (1497653) | more than 2 years ago | (#38647934)

Assuming Raspberry Pi see production by then, have 100 Tor instances running for less than $3000(<quid2000)
1 Rassbery=$25, 1 USB dongle [ebay.com] =$1.5

Use it for whatever you like.

Re:Best use (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38649650)

Assuming this is one of those "visit the web page to enable your account" type services, would it be possible to run a completely independent network with nodes that haven't actually enabled their service?

I imagine the APs won't route rout traffic to anywhere until you're enabled, but it would be cool to bridge the wifi to your own internet connection (possibly via Tor) without enabling any of the nodes ;-)

UGG BOOTS (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38647992)

Have a pair of boots is every UGG girl's dream Quickly Goes Into Action http://www.seekboots.com/ [seekboots.com]

Boroughs (4, Informative)

Malc (1751) | more than 2 years ago | (#38648096)

London's Westminster, Kensington and Chelsea districts

They're "boroughs", not "districts". Jeeze.

Re:Boroughs (1)

Suferick (2438038) | more than 2 years ago | (#38648340)

Actually, if you want to be pedantic it's the City of Westminster and the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea,which IIRC are not hosting much in the way of competition during the Games (triathlon and beach volleyball apart). What about free wifi for Tower Hamlets, Hackney and Greenwich, which are closer to the action?

Re:Boroughs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38648688)

Tower Hamlets, Hackney and Greenwich - poor

Westminster and Chelsea - rich

Just following the money

Re:Boroughs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38648738)

Exactly what I thought. If you had to pick three areas of London that didn't need free anything, they would be Westminster, Kensington and Chelsea.

Re:Boroughs (1)

m50d (797211) | more than 2 years ago | (#38648768)

Nah, the city of Westminster covers most of what we think of as "London".

Re:Boroughs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38649878)

I think you'll find that the two terms are not mutually exclusive... in much the same way as you can refer to a banana as fruit... you could refer to one of the boroughs of London as a district. The term borough originally meaning fortified town or city and the term district meaning a place where a lord exercises control. If you're going to be a pedant... the least you could do is check your facts (no wait... I remember... this is /. what'd be the fun in that)

http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/borough
http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/district

and ... (0)

ddt (14627) | more than 2 years ago | (#38648198)

"to allow visitors and residents to get more out of their stay ..."

... and to let the British government get the most out of sniffing their packets?

Re:and ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38648222)

... and to let the British government get the most out of sniffing their packets?

If David Cameron and Nick Clegg want to sniff my packet, more fool them!

And the existing providers? (3, Insightful)

jginspace (678908) | more than 2 years ago | (#38648200)

People who've invested their own time, money and effort into providing (and charging for) Wifi must be just thrilled that the council have given a private operator rights to erect equipment in public spaces right next to their premises that effectively kicks their product out of the market. Is the need for public Wifi that pressing that the council are being diverted from their normal duties like, you know, sweeping the streets?

Re:And the existing providers? (3, Interesting)

Billly Gates (198444) | more than 2 years ago | (#38648242)

I was thinking the same thing.

If any city in the US did this the carriers would be SCREAMING SOCIALISM!! ... and funding every politican and their brothers to ban and stop this assault on capitalism at all cost and probably then lobbying congress to add anti free WIFI in SOPA or something stupid.

Maybe in Europe the governments there actually listen to their citizens and not corporate lobbiests and vote only on the behalf of corporations? I was just watching the Star Wars prequel tonight and the US and Canada are starting to look just like the final days of the old republic before it fell to the empire. Inept government totally rotten to the core gave way to many supporting the empire. ... anyway do not want to go offtopic with that rant but thought of it when reading this article pretty much expecting this to be outrageous and political suicide. That is pretty sad if you ask me.

Re:And the existing providers? (1)

The Askylist (2488908) | more than 2 years ago | (#38649292)

If you think the UK is free from the scourge of lobbyists, think again.

They mostly rename it "PR" here, but that PR industry is worth around £7 billion per annum, and has its tentacles deep within the body politic, no matter which party you choose.

You can be sure that someone, somewhere is getting fat on this - if not now then via promises of jobs in the future.

Re:And the existing providers? (1)

Billly Gates (198444) | more than 2 years ago | (#38648250)

I was thinking the same thing and then realized it was the UK.

If any city in the US did this the carriers would be SCREAMING SOCIALISM!! ... and funding every politican and their brothers to ban and stop this assault on freedom and capitalism at all cost while probably then lobbying congress to add anti free WIFI in SOPA or something stupid.

Maybe in Europe the governments there actually listen to their citizens and not corporate lobbiests who vote only on the behalf of corporations? I was just watching the Star Wars prequel tonight and the US and Canada are starting to look just like the final days of the old republic before it fell to the empire. Inept government totally rotten to the core gave way to many supporting the empire. ... anyway do not want to go offtopic with that rant but thought of it when reading this article pretty much expecting this to be outrageous and political suicide. That is pretty sad if you ask me.

Re:And the existing providers? (1)

Shimbo (100005) | more than 2 years ago | (#38649356)

I was thinking the same thing and then realized it was the UK.

If any city in the US did this the carriers would be SCREAMING SOCIALISM!! ... and funding every politican and their brothers to ban and stop this assault on freedom and capitalism at all cost

Which is odd because they are solidly conservative areas. I don't really see how a private company providing an advertising funded 'free' service counts as socialism anyway.

Re:And the existing providers? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38648266)

Yes, just as the government drives out companies who want to charge for healthcare here. It's a good thing to keep the predators away. Most of the formerly charging wifi hotspots in coffee shops and the like have since become free anyway.

Wifi is a public good; exactly the sort of thing a council should be doing.

Re:And the existing providers? (1)

mjwx (966435) | more than 2 years ago | (#38648508)

People who've invested their own time, money and effort into providing (and charging for) Wifi must be just thrilled that the council have given a private operator rights to erect equipment in public spaces right next to their premises that effectively kicks their product out of the market. Is the need for public Wifi that pressing that the council are being diverted from their normal duties like, you know, sweeping the streets?

You mean you know someone who wasted money providing a paid for WiFi service that no-one wants.

Should the local Council shut down the nearest Macca's because their free WiFi interferes with his flawed business model?

Bollocks.

I see Azure and Tomizone networks occasionally here in Oz, these ones are captive portals that ask for CC details, I have never used them, it's easier and faster to head down the street and find a Macca's, Subway or cafe with open wifi.

Re:And the existing providers? (1)

ibsteve2u (1184603) | more than 2 years ago | (#38649470)

I hear you. Those tourists and athletes should be forced to purchase medical gases for breathing, too; by keeping the air clean and allowing just anyone to breathe it, the government poses a direct threat to existing industries as well as the free market.

Free WiFi (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38648218)

Free to connect, but to use the internet, you'll need to pay.

comment (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38648316)

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Big Brother's Honeypot (0)

phx_zs (1772496) | more than 2 years ago | (#38648412)

"London Installing Largest Government-Run Honeypot"
Fixed that title for you

Re:Big Brother's Honeypot (1)

91degrees (207121) | more than 2 years ago | (#38648518)

They pretty much have carte blanche to read packets whether it's free or not. And the provider is even more likely to.

At least we don;t have to pay to be spied on.

Maintenance (1)

flyingfsck (986395) | more than 2 years ago | (#38648512)

For how long will it keep working before a lack of maintenance makes it go dark?

Olympics (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38648712)

"in time for the London Olympics"... which takes place in the east of London, in Stratford, far from any of these boroughs.

Re:Olympics (3, Insightful)

trigpoint (1230530) | more than 2 years ago | (#38649202)

"in time for the London Olympics"... which takes place in the east of London, in Stratford, far from any of these boroughs.

Most of Londons hotels and resturants are in this area and this is where tourists will spend most of their time and money when not watching the events. Local businesses in East London will see very little tourist money.

Re:Olympics (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38649762)

It is where the rich will spend their time.

Re:Olympics (1)

Builder (103701) | more than 2 years ago | (#38649246)

Most insightful post here!

The thing is that the people travelling to London for the Olympics won't want to stay in the hole that is stratford, so we're putting the WiFi where they actually will be.

Won't it just be too congested? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38649180)

In WWDC and other crowded spots where wifi usage is high, I've found that nothing works due to the sheer number of devices interfering with each other. I expect the Olympics will be similarly congested, especially in places where people are likely to want to congregate and use the devices (viewing areas etc).

and (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38649544)

who is paying for this?

Re:and (1)

trigpoint (1230530) | more than 2 years ago | (#38649784)

who is paying for this?

According to the article O2, at no cost to the council or taxpayer.

Watch my taxes pissed up the wall! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38649824)

Just like the Olympics, most of the UK tax payers will not doubt be paying for this! I don't like sport yet I still have no choice but to watch my taxes be pissed away on this Olympics bollocks. Clegg and Cameron will get all the their mates snouts in the Olympic trough, including this WiFI malarky. Come the glorious fortnight I'm taking my tent up the Cairngorms and cutting all ties so I don't see, read or have to listen to any this Olympics cack!

No such thing as free (3, Insightful)

DaMattster (977781) | more than 2 years ago | (#38649940)

The advertiser supported model was tried during the dot-com era and largely failed. Since there really is no such thing as free, I am guessing O2 is going to collect browsing habbits and information to resell to marketing companies in addition to advertisements. O2 might actually make more money by combining reselling user data and advertiser supported services.
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