Opinion

The Cloud rains on O2's parade

Newly-acquired public Wi-Fi provider The Cloud has hit back at O2's decision to launch free wireless net access ... after a fashion.

The firm, which was bought by BSkyB last week, has launched a new partnership with the City of London to give surfers within the Square Mile 15 minutes of free Wi-Fi access per day.

The Cloud says that the move is meant to, I quote, "enhance the quality of communications access within the capital while easing pressure on individuals hit hard by the VAT increase and new restrictions on mobile internet data use."

Anybody with a Wi-Fi enabled device will be able to access the web at The Cloud's hotspots, and based on the success of a pilot scheme run in Glasgow, the firm is predicting that over 350,000 people will take advantage of the offer every day.

We assume you will have to register online first; The Cloud is not clear on this point.

Based just on the number of people pouring into The City every day, there is no reason this shouldn't be a success for them.

While O2 has hit on a headline-grabbing idea, if you're not altogether fussed about who's providing your service, and you just want a quick way to grab some emails while waiting in line at a sandwich shop, for example, then this will work just fine.

This was first published in January 2011

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