London Gets Free WiFi While Olympics Ban Your Hotspots

Back in April, organizers of the 2012 London Olympics released their rules and regulations regarding this prestigious event.  One of those rules restricts attendees from taking audio, video and photos of the event and sharing it on social media sites or news sites.  Attendees can only use them for private and domestic purposes.  Some say that the rule will be hard to enforce since there will be millions of attendees who have devices connected to the internet via their cellular networks or the use of personal WiFis.

Controlling millions of attendees from sharing Olympic content on the internet may sound impossible, but the organizers may have found a way to keep things at bay: they’re banning personal/private wireless access points and 3G hubs.  Although smartphones and tablets are permitted, the rules stated that those devices cannot be used to tether or provide wireless access points to multiple devices.  The point is, the Brits are going to do everything to keep you from leaking or sharing anything that happens during the Olympics with your social media networks.

But O2, UK’s leading network provider, is offering free WiFi hotspots in some of the busiest parts of London.  Seven squares and shopping streets, such as Leicester Square, Piccadilly Circus and Exhibition Road, will benefit from the deal between Westminster City Council, the Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea and O2.

“We are proud to announce that today, we can bring O2 Wifi to some of the busiest streets and squares of central London,” Gavin Franks, MD of O2 Wifi said. “We are now providing Londoners and visitors alike with fast, free, reliable wifi when visiting some of the busiest areas in Westminster and Kensington & Chelsea. This comes after a succession of venue announcements with partners like Costa Coffee, House of Fraser and McDonald’s.  O2 Wifi was launched fifteen months ago and in that time we have transformed the wifi market with innovation and fresh thinking.”

Tourists and Londoners can enjoy the free WiFi hotspot starting today until the end of July.

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Still, having free WiFi outside of the venue is not the same as having WiFi inside.  I know some of the attendees are excited because they think they can share their Olympic experience to everyone as they happen but unfortunately, some attendees may learn about the bad news only when they reach the event.

If you’re attending the 2012 London Olympics, better read the rules and regulations before you get there.  You don’t want to bring your most prized possession like your family’s ancestral hunting horn only to be confiscated.  Learn more about the prohibited and restricted items here.

Mellisa Tolentino

Staff Writer at SiliconANGLE
Mellisa Tolentino started at SiliconANGLE covering the mobile and social scene. Over the years, her scope expanded to Bitcoin as well as the Internet of Things. SiliconANGLE gave Mellisa her break in writing and it has been an adventure ever since. She’s from the sunny country of Philippines where people always greet you with the warmest smile. If she’s not busy writing, she loves reading, watching TV series and movies, but what she enjoys the most is playing or just chilling on the couch with with her three dogs Ceecee, Ginger, and Rocky.


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