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London's "FREE" Wi-Fi network floundering?

London's "FREE" Wi-Fi network floundering?

PC Plus magazine reports London's "free" Wi-Fi network (at least for the first month), which is operated by 'The Cloud', has only managed to register 6,000 people to use its service out of a potential 350,000:

The idea of blanket Wi-Fi coverage is flawed, said Elliott Mueller, chief executive of Manchester's Metronet Wi-Fi network. "It is difficult to get people to pay for Wi-Fi because they have Internet access at home and outdoor coverage is patchy," he said.

The Cloud said it is considering teaming up with mobile operators to offer Wi-Fi access bundled into phone handsets to increase take-up. "We are trying to deliver a mobile web experience," said Niall Murphy, co-founder of The Cloud.

Typically residents of London have many choices for accessing the Internet and most will already have a method of getting online, hence the demand for such a service was always going to be flaky. But is it a flop or merely to be expected?


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