London Wants To Offer Full WiFi Coverage... But How Will That Work With The Digital Economy Act?

from the questions... dept

Rik was the first of a few of you to send in the news that the mayor of London, Boris Johnson, is claiming that London will be fully covered by WiFi in time for the 2012 Olympic games. Of course, considering that the UK Parliament just passed the Digital Economy Act, which calls for carefully limiting access to the internet for people accused (not convicted) of infringement online, it makes you wonder how that's going to work. Even if Ofcom has said that the DEA rules won't initially apply to wireless providers, it does seem a bit odd to have the government offering a service like this. Once again, we're seeing how the government has these two competing issues that don't play well together: getting more broadband availability, while looking to help out the entertainment industry by kicking people off the internet at the same time. Who will be the first Olympic athlete kicked offline for downloading some music during the games?
Hide this

Thank you for reading this Techdirt post. With so many things competing for everyone’s attention these days, we really appreciate you giving us your time. We work hard every day to put quality content out there for our community.

Techdirt is one of the few remaining truly independent media outlets. We do not have a giant corporation behind us, and we rely heavily on our community to support us, in an age when advertisers are increasingly uninterested in sponsoring small, independent sites — especially a site like ours that is unwilling to pull punches in its reporting and analysis.

While other websites have resorted to paywalls, registration requirements, and increasingly annoying/intrusive advertising, we have always kept Techdirt open and available to anyone. But in order to continue doing so, we need your support. We offer a variety of ways for our readers to support us, from direct donations to special subscriptions and cool merchandise — and every little bit helps. Thank you.

–The Techdirt Team

Filed Under: london, olympics, wifi


Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread


  • icon
    Mike Read (profile), 18 May 2010 @ 11:57pm

    It's a bit difficult to take Boris Johnson's claims seriously. He's a bit... Special.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Shadzzy, 18 May 2010 @ 11:59pm

    Way to catch pirates

    Mabye just a sneaky way to catch pirates by monitoring all traffic across the network then using the fancy cctv to locate pirate and catch them in the act.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Felix Pleșoianu, 19 May 2010 @ 12:01am

    The answers are contained in your questions. The Digital Economy Act is absurd and it will blow up, one way or another. It's that simple.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Carl, 19 May 2010 @ 1:00am

    New Governement

    Ah well let us not forget that since the Digital Economy Bill was rush through Parliment we have had a change in Government in the UK. So we have a rushed through bill that was provided by one party and we now have a Government of their opposition (which is Boris's party as well).

    All in all a complete mess lol

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Alatar, 19 May 2010 @ 1:01am

    What if someone downloads copyrighted content?

    Will Sony sue again and have London stop its municipal Wifi coverage?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    ComputerAddict (profile), 19 May 2010 @ 5:34am

    I think that the accused wont be able to access the network, but then again neither will anyone else.

    I have serious doubts about the government being able to setup a city-wide WiFi network that can handle the traffic during the Olympics. If it does work I'd bet on 28.8kbps speeds.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 19 May 2010 @ 7:03am

    i have to laugh. as is pretty normal, mike, you forget the simple concept: access control. wifi doesnt mean entirely open access, it could still require that users log in to access the network. further, i have to laugh even more, because city wide wifi has been tried and pretty much discarded in the past, and i seem to remember some tech guru mocking the efforts. but hey, dont let that get in the way of slamming the uk some more.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      crade (profile), 19 May 2010 @ 7:35am

      Re:

      It would be pretty pointless to have wifi everywhere if you need to jump through hoops to use it.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 19 May 2010 @ 10:14am

        Re: Re:

        Yeah, that great thing sounds great until you hear all the restrictions placed upon it then it doesn't sound so great.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 19 May 2010 @ 10:33am

        Re: Re:

        not really. most major airports have wireless hotspots that are paid, it wouldnt be really far off to say that users would be required to actually sign up for service, and perhaps they could log mac addresses and such to see who is using what. that would satisfy the (somewhat pointless) urge for free while also providing some sense of responsilbity.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Killer_Tofu (profile), 19 May 2010 @ 8:11am

    Who will?

    Who will be the first Olympic athlete kicked offline for downloading some music during the games?

    Michael Phelps. =)

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here



Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter




Comment Options:

  • Use markdown. Use plain text.
  • Make this the First Word or Last Word. No thanks. (get credits or sign in to see balance)    
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Close

Add A Reply

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here



Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter




Comment Options:

  • Use markdown. Use plain text.
  • Make this the First Word or Last Word. No thanks. (get credits or sign in to see balance)    
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Follow Techdirt
Sponsored Promotion
Public Money, Public Code - Sign The Open Letter at publiccode.eu
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Chat
Recent Stories

This site, like most other sites on the web, uses cookies. For more information, see our privacy policy. Got it
Close

Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.