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London Rolling Out Europe's Largest Free WiFi Zone

By - Source: O2 | B 9 comments

Free WiFi to help Londoners keep up to date with all the Olympics scores.

London on Wednesday rolled out Europe's largest free WiFi zone in preparation for the 2012 Summer Olympic Games. Wireless carrier O2 announced the roll out on Wednesday, detailing that the hotspots will be open to tourists, visitors, and Londoners alike. The network plans to cover high traffic areas such as London's Leicester Square, Piccadilly Circus and Exhibition Road.

"With millions of extra people coming to town for the Games, we want to ensure we showcase the capital as the best city in the world to work and visit, and the addition of free Wifi to some of our most popular landmarks is crucial in helping to maintaining that reputation," London Mayor Boris Johnson said today.

All told, a total of seven squares will benefit from the deal inlvolving Westminster City Council, the Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea and communications provider O2. According to O2, the WiFi areas are running at no cost to the council or the taxpayer and are free for everyone, regardless of whether they're an O2 customer or not. O2 says people will be automatically connected each time they enter a coverage area as long as they have registered.

The network says its WiFi network will span Exhibition Road, High Street Kensington, Parliament Square, Trafalgar Square, Oxford Street/Regent Street, Leicester Square and Piccadilly by the end of July.

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  • 4 Hide
    Pyree , July 26, 2012 1:10 PM
    They need that free wifi for the public. If they have an Olympic game and no free wifi, the country lose face ans it is bad for negotiating business deals.
  • 3 Hide
    silverblue , July 26, 2012 1:34 PM
    farrengottusounds nice except for Britain isn't part of Europe. just like Japan isn't part of Asia, and Madagascar isn't part of Africa.

    Yes, but we're part of the EU.

    The one thing I'm concerned about is the fact that O2 are the ones running it, the very same company who had a major 24 hour outage a couple of weeks back. Still, we're getting a 10% rebate in September's bill plus a £10 voucher to use in their stores, so it's not all bad, but I digress.

    In any case, the UK may not be as financially secure as it needs to be, but it looks as if O2 (part of Telefonica, a very large Spanish telecommunications company for those who didn't know) are footing the entire bill, so the point is moot.
  • 0 Hide
    back_by_demand , July 26, 2012 1:56 PM
    silverblueYes, but we're part of the EU.The one thing I'm concerned about is the fact that O2 are the ones running it, the very same company who had a major 24 hour outage a couple of weeks back. Still, we're getting a 10% rebate in September's bill plus a £10 voucher to use in their stores, so it's not all bad, but I digress.In any case, the UK may not be as financially secure as it needs to be, but it looks as if O2 (part of Telefonica, a very large Spanish telecommunications company for those who didn't know) are footing the entire bill, so the point is moot.

    The UK is on the continent of Europe, and part of the EU, but is not in the Eurozone, so it doesn't have the same failed currency. The £ is doing just fine thanks and even if the taxpayer did foot the bill, the Olympics is going to pull some serious revenue from tourists over the next month or so, talking billions here
  • -1 Hide
    eddieroolz , July 26, 2012 5:54 PM
    Except, knowing that IOC is very corrupt, they'll probably take payments in other forms...such as personal information, and advertising.

    .....wait a minute, sounds exactly like what Google does.
  • 0 Hide
    bobolibob , July 26, 2012 10:42 PM
    Yeah, I'd be surprised if they weren't trying to monetize it any way they can. Look for injecting ads through NXDOMAIN and SERVFAIL DNS redirects, 404 rewriting, etc.

    It's perfectly within their right to do so if they want...it's a free service and it's got to be paid for somehow. Although I'd definitely be interested to see some Netalyzr results from the free London Olympics Wi-Fi.
  • 1 Hide
    altriss , July 27, 2012 1:24 AM
    farrengottusounds nice except for Britain isn't part of Europe. just like Japan isn't part of Asia, and Madagascar isn't part of Africa.

    What's wrong with you guy?
    -> geology: Britain is on the same continent than Europe
    -> history: since the roman Empire Britain shares its history with France, Germany, Spain...
    -> economy: even without being part of the euro zone, UK belongs to E.U.

    That post gave me cancer...
  • 0 Hide
    silverblue , July 31, 2012 9:41 PM
    back_by_demandThe UK is on the continent of Europe, and part of the EU, but is not in the Eurozone, so it doesn't have the same failed currency. The £ is doing just fine thanks and even if the taxpayer did foot the bill, the Olympics is going to pull some serious revenue from tourists over the next month or so, talking billions here

    I know this; I'm British, I spend pounds and pence. :) 
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , August 3, 2012 11:00 AM
    what does currency have to do with being in "europe" ?
    im from norway, we're not part of the EU, we dont use euros. but i still live in europe.
    wouldnt expect anyone from usa to understand anything otuside their own country anyways.