The Cloud draws up Wi-Fi plan to cover London by 2012


The Cloud has come in as the front runner to provide blanket Wi-Fi coverage of London in time for the Olympic Games in 2012.

The company, which is the largest provider of Wi-Fi across Europe, has been asked by London Mayor Boris Johnson to draw up plans of how to get the Olympic site at Stratford connected, according to the Financial Times.

It will not be the only provider involved however. A statement from The Cloud's chief executive, Steve Nicholson, claimed other mobile operators such as O2, Vodafone and Virgin Mobile have been included in a series of meetings to work out the logistics of getting the site fit for connectivity purposes.

"The key telecoms executives meet with Boris and the 2012 Olympic organisers once a quarter to chew over how the industry can respond to the anticipated surge in mobile internet as the Olympics come to town," said Nicholson.

"It's great for Londoners, great for UK PLC and really encouraging to have broad industry agreement that the only credible means to cater for high performance mobile broadband is over Wi-Fi. I suspect Boris is articulating his thoughts around how we can conceptually deliver a Wi-Fi service across all the key London boroughs to create a Wi-Fi city."

He did claim it will not be simple though, as the current economic climate, paired with the new coalition Government with cuts at the forefront of their minds, may threaten the project.

"As ever with such public ambitions it will come down to costs and I suspect a worry is the probability of budget cuts as the new government curbs public expenditure," added Nicholson.

"The clocks ticking and hopefully our current financial woes will not stop us showcasing UK PLC at the Olympics."

Jennifer Scott

Jennifer Scott is a former freelance journalist and currently political reporter for Sky News. She has a varied writing history, having started her career at Dennis Publishing, working in various roles across its business technology titles, including ITPro. Jennifer has specialised in a number of areas over the years and has produced a wealth of content for ITPro, focusing largely on data storage, networking, cloud computing, and telecommunications.

Most recently Jennifer has turned her skills to the political sphere and broadcast journalism, where she has worked for the BBC as a political reporter, before moving to Sky News.