More UK cities to have blanket WiFi coverage

The Cloud will bring high-speed wireless Web access to eight U.K. cities and a few London boroughs. The first phase of the project will be completed by March 2006. Residents of Birmingham, Cambridge, Edinburgh, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Nottingham and Oxford, as well as the London boroughs of Kensington and Chelsea, Camden and Islington, will be the first to be covered by the new system. The networks are built by The Cloud and will be open to any ISP wanting to offer the service to its customers. The WiFi equipment will be placed on lampposts and street signs.

More cities will be announced later in the year. The Cloud says the goal is to provide wireless coverage across all U.K. cities and major centers of population. The WiFi initiative has been backed by MP Derek Wyatt, who heads a parliamentary caucus named the All-Party Internet Group. "Such a large-scale project is an exciting prospect for communications in the U.K., allowing people to send emails, make cheap phone calls, surf the Internet, do business and even play games online, wherever they are," said Wyatt.

For more on The Cloud's UK WiFi plans:
- see Andy McCue's report

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