back to article Hard-up Brit bankers bag endless free Wi-Fi during cig breaks

The City of London will get free unlimited Wi-Fi internet access from The Cloud following a successful six-month trial. The wireless connectivity biz blanketed the capital's financial district with Wi-Fi in 2007 but limited city slickers to 15 minutes of free use before it started charging for the service. But in March this …


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  1. g e
    Black Helicopters

    Everyone loves a good conspiracy theory

    I can't help wondering sometimes, if the proliferation of public WiFi is somehow sponsored by a gov dept who knows the geolocation of each hotspot and 'gathers information'

    1. JimmyPage Silver badge
      Black Helicopters

      Re: Everyone loves a good conspiracy theory

      As you connect through your VPN ?

      1. TRT Silver badge

        Re: Everyone loves a good conspiracy theory

        A VPN doesn't provide anonymity to location gathering, only eavesdropping.

    2. JetSetJim

      Re: Everyone loves a good conspiracy theory

      Too many "black helicopters" here, Occam's Razor leads to a simpler solution - free wifi is an easy promise for local councillors to make to get elected and they can then "recommend" an IT outfit that can do it on the cheap. Oh look, the company is incorporated in the Isle of Man and you can't get a list of directors. Several rounds of consulting later (supplemented by phased releases of funds as milestones are met) it is concluded that the deployment is infeasible and the project binned.

      Although I'm sure that any successful deployments would no doubt eventually get connected to the backbone via a surreptitious govmt owned black box, too.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Everyone loves a good conspiracy theory

      I can't help wondering if a lot of people think that they are a lot more important than they really are and this leads to paranoid fantasies about people watching them, when in reality no-one is interested in them.

      Also, this level of paranoia can't be healthy - I know that just because you're paranoid, doesn't mean that they aren't watching you, but on balance of probability they're not.

      1. g e

        Re: Everyone loves a good conspiracy theory

        as opposed to the police wanting data on everyone 'in case', of course ;o)

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Everyone loves a good conspiracy theory

        So guess you're posting as AC then just in case :)

        AC for same reasons...

  2. tony


    PITA trying to use the cloud, it never seems to remember your details so gave up trying to use the "free" wifi at my main line station as it's slower to have to log in every passing visit than it is to use 3g to check service status and other crap that for some reason we used to be able to live without whilst traveling...

    1. TRT Silver badge

      Re: Cloud,

      Yes. The Virgin service is much better, but even then the DNS redirect on the first port 80 traffic of the day from each device screws up a lot of the travel apps that scrape data from various travel websites.

  3. Buzzword

    Leaking wifi

    I'm quickly going off urban wifi networks. You can't sit on a bus in London merrily reading your emails without being prompted to log in to The Cloud every time you're near a shop, bar, restaurant, gym, or whatever. (Why does Greggs have free wifi anyway?!) By the time you've signed in and clicked the button to say no you don't want to receive emails from Kennington Fried Chicken, your bus has pulled away and you're out of range.

    1. TRT Silver badge

      Re: Leaking wifi

      The login based WiFi hotspots are rubbish for that; agreed.

    2. Goat Jam

      Re: Leaking wifi

      You know you can configure your phone so that it doesn't prompt you every time it discovers a wifi hotspot right?

      In fact this is the default behaviour on my current phone. You actually have to deliberate turn that crap on if you do want to get those prompts.

  4. spencer

    Give wifi to those that need it least.

    What's the point of having free wifi here of all places?

    1. Goat Jam

      Re: Give wifi to those that need it least.

      Have you ever known a rich person? Being rich is as much a state of mind as anything else. And that state of mind says never pay for anything that you can get for free, or better yet get someone else to pay for.

      Just like that millionare dentist who found a dropped credit card in the shopping centre carpark and immediately went and bought a pizza with it. Do you think he couldn't afford a pizza? Or was he just getting off on the thought of getting something for free and sticking another sucker with the bill?

      Naturally, if you are a wealthy merchant banking type who has the same school tie as some other bloke down in town hall then of course you are going to have a word down at the gentlemens club on thursday evening about maybe getting some of that taxpayer financed "free" wifi goodness installed down near the smokers garden at Banker HQ. And you never know, there might be an opening for a seat on the board down at Banker HQ sometime soon.

      It goes without saying really.

  5. davenewman

    Estonia has it sorted

    Years ago Talinn got free WiFi throughout much of the town. It was simply a matter of getting every government office and private business to agree to offer free WiFi into the street. It is only in the USA that municipal WiFi fails. In the civilised world there are successes.

  6. s. pam Silver badge

    Enjoy the rampant rule breaking this will allow

    So there will be no compliance archiving on the network, IM, etc and all dodgy dealings will simply move to this communications channel.

    Enjoy the resulting clusterfuck of financial misuse, fraud and criminal activity this will cause.

    1. frank ly

      Re: Enjoy the rampant rule breaking this will allow

      Unlike the good old, traditional Post Office service, where the sender and contents of every letter and parcel is monitored and recorded with data held for two years, just in case someone sends something illegal.

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: Enjoy the rampant rule breaking this will allow

        >Unlike the good old, traditional Post Office service

        The point is that the banks log all the emails/web and phone calls their dealers make.

        With this you will have two phones on your desk an official one with the deals that lost money and a PAYG phone topped up with cash for all the deals to your freinds that made money.

        This way we won't need another of those expensive inquiries into rigging the LIBOR.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Enjoy the rampant rule breaking this will allow

      There is no need for the banks to do anything. Following the HSBC affair (money laundering for drugs dealers etc) Cameron has effectively agreed that the Big Banks are not only Too Big To Fail they are also Too Big To Jail. The Big Banks are now actually above the law.

  7. Andus McCoatover

    Dunno, Ray.

    I do know this. I pull my fondeslab (Or N8) out of my 'man-bag', pocket, whatever I have when I'm in the city/ on the bus/at home. Connects instantly to Oulu's free, as-much-as-you-can-eat internet service, browse what I like! Do anything. If I want to download a sick video, or some pr0n, whatever, no restriction. For free!!

    Is Britain somewhat retarded???

    1. Dr_N

      Re: Dunno, Ray.

      Down-voted for having a man-bag.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Dunno, Ray.

        Depends what you keep in it.

        My bag holds a pair of large 'uns innit.

      2. Andus McCoatover

        Re: Dunno, Ray.

        Things change....

        When I was at school, it was called a satchel. When I travelled, as a teenager, it was called a rucksack. Then when I got older, it was a briefcase. Later, it was an overhead travel-bag. Now, it's a man-bag. Women call theirs a handbag (Dame Thatcher's was strong enough to carry a brick, it was rumoured), but I'm not carrying one of those on any train ("The line is immaterial, Mr. Worthing!! ,as Lady Bracknell might ejaculate)

  8. DJ 2

    SFR in France have sim based authentication to wifi, it tries to off load the 3g data onto wifi that you are automatically logged into. However the surfing speed of this shared wifi is slower than 3g.

    There are apps that will remember your login credentials for free wifi and automatically log you on. I use it extensivly while stood at the bus stop outside macdonalds.

  9. Longrod_von_Hugendong

    Free as in not really...

    So, they collect your email address at each hotspot, so they track you around - and show you adverts...

    Thats not free at all, enjoy Murdock tracking you all.

  10. SirDigalot

    my company has free wifi for anyone who can pick it up port 80 and 443 only, good luck picking it up INSIDE the office let alone anywhere else!

    I would complain about it but then I would have to fix it so sod that

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    A good idea until they mentioned 'Sky'

    I refuse to use anything that <redacted> ex Aussie, ex Brit, Murdoch has a finger in.

    anon because I get enough crap mailings for Virgin & Sky as it is.

  12. JeffyPooh

    Airports in Developing Countries

    It's nearly universal for every fast food joint facing the terminal waiting area to provide free wifi. Show Available Networks leads to an endless list.


  13. All names Taken
    Paris Hilton

    Surely every internet connection is somehow linked to a telephone number anyway?


    Just keep a record in metadata of all telephone numbers related to that online access.

    The string is not going to be too long - nation code, region code, telephone id

    Can I claim IP ownership on the above brand spanking new idea that has potential to make the internet clean, decent, nice and more importantly ultimately traceable?

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Free Wi-Fi in SE Asia

    Having worked\traveled and lived in various parts of Asia for the last 6+ years I am always amazed at the lack of free wi-fi available in the UK.

    Nearly everywhere in SEA offers free wi-fi even remote places in the jungle offer it at times. HK has wi-fi on the underground and yet the UK is still faffing around.

    Ok a lot of this is offered by private enterprises, but there is rarely a requirements to pass over any details, just connect and surf. Some of them may have passwords on them, but you merely ask for the key and are given it without question.

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