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Boris Johnson: Let's make London a 'Wi-Fi' city

London's mayor has called for greater wireless access in time for the 2012 Olympics in London, following the prime minister's plans to fund web access for low-income families

London may be one of the most wirelessly connected metropolises in the world, but mayor Boris Johnson is calling for a "Wi-Fi city" in light of the capital's successful bid to host the Olympic Games.

Johnson told BBC London radio: "Actually, one thing I learnt from the Chinese [is] one thing we've got to do for the Olympics in 2012, we've got to have a Wi-Fi city. Never mind having the internet, what we need is a city where anywhere you go, you can log on, you can get on web."

"They've done it in other parts of the world, why on earth can't we do it? Particularly, let's do it beginning in Stratford in this fantastic area of opportunity," he said.

Johnson's call for greater Wi-Fi access came in response to prime minister Gordon Brown's plan to spend £300m on funding broadband connections, software and PCs for low-income families.

While the mayor said he believes "there is a case for dealing with people who are information technology poor and trying to help people to get online", he told the radio station more access to Wi-Fi would be a better way to do it.

Johnson said: "I think that's the way we should be going — rather than bunging money to people which sounds like a desperate bribe by the prime minister, let's look at ways we can improve infrastructure in this city so that there's Wi-Fi access everywhere."

London, meanwhile, has topped a recent survey of the world's Wi-Fi cities.

According to a study by iPass, London sees the most Wi-Fi use by business of all the world's cities, with more than 31,000 user sessions in the first half of this year.

The report also found that London's average Wi-Fi session length is 57 minutes.