The Cloud emerges as frontrunner for London WiFi bid

Europe’s largest wireless broadband network operator, The Cloud, has been revealed as a frontrunner to extend London’s WiFi coverage.
The firm already operates WiFi networks in London’s financial district, and has been asked to draw up a blueprint to extend its network city-wide – a move that would include covering the 2012 Olympic venue in the east-end, the London Evening Standard reports.
London’s Mayor Boris Johnson last week revealed a plan to offer free WiFi coverage throughout the city by the time the Olympic games open in 2012, the newspaper said.
The Cloud is consulting with UK wireless carriers Vodafone, O2, and Virgin Mobile about how to meet Johnson’s goal, reports.
Chief executive Steve Nicholson said that WiFi is the only practical choice for providing “large-scale data downloading,” and that his firm would require additional funds to complete the deployment in time, as a decision on whether to use the technology won’t be taken until September at the earliest.
Johnson has pledged to offer WiFi hotspots on “every lamppost [and] every bus stop,” the BBC reported.