Wifi Lewisham

Will Lewisham become one giant wifi hotspot? (Answer: yes, see below)

This week at Google Zeitgeist, Mayor Boris announced that London will become fully wifi-enabled by 2012. It wasn’t entirely clear whether this was a plan or a vision or just something he came up with on the hoof, in order to have something to say to an audience of technophiles. Several news outlets reported that 22 London boroughs are backing the scheme, but enquiries to both the GLA and the Borough of Lewisham have so far drawn a blank as to whether this borough is among them. If you are Mayor Bullock and reading this, please fill us in.

Some parts of Deptford and north Brockley appear to be covered already by a wifi hotspot and we suppose there are others that serve business clusters and many local businesses in Brockley now offer free wifi, so how much of a difference would it make to you?

UPDATE: Lewisham Council press office have sprung in to action to confirm that yes, they are one of the 22 Councils that have pledged to go wifi


Headhunter said...

I'm a bit of a technophobe at times but does this mean that, when rolled out, we can get rid of our broadband suppliers and get internet for free?

Gaga said...

BT has been showering our street in Crofton Park with their (not free) wifi signal for over a year now...

not Tim Berners-Lee said...

Wot sort of speed are they forecasting? If it means I can ditch my temperamental ~6Mbp/s Deptford exchange LLU service, then bring it on.

Anonymous said...

He has made such announcements before. The fellow aspires to so many things that it is easy to doubt his fervent bluster.

Show me the money Boris!

Dave Levy said...

Wifi standards should offer speeds above 6 Mbps, the standard i.e. rule is 54 Mbps. While Boris has stated that he proposes a London wide free wifi service, it is unclear if it'll be anonymous, unauthenticated or encrypted. i.e. will you need to tell it who you are before you use it, and if others can then see what you do. You may even need to be a phone company customer, or a council tax payer to use the free WiFi, although the San Francisco precedent is that it is anonymous to the extent you don't need a network login, and thus free to anyone in town. (Wifi connector devices have unique recognisable signatures, so it may not be truly anonymous.)

Also it is unknown if upper level protocol restrictions will be applied, for instance inhibiting the use of streaming clients to watch videos, or stop people picking up their mail.

All of this assumes that Anonymous's cynicism is unwarranted.

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