Wireless broadband access via Wi-Fi hotspots has been available for some time, and is mainly used by business travelers. 2006 looks set to see the firm The Cloud building on its existing coverage to bring city-wide coverage to up to nine cities, with the first phase being Edinburgh, Leeds, Manchester, Birmingham, Nottingham, Oxford, Cambridge and three London boroughs - Islington, Kensington and Camden.
One of the problems to date with Wi-Fi access has been that it is restricted to people within range of a Macdonalds or Starbucks. Deploying a city-wide network will greatly increase the usefulness of the service, particularly now that gaming consoles are embracing Wi-Fi. See BBC News Online for more information.
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