In the UK, the city of Leeds is about to become one huge wireless Internet hotspot. As part of BT's plans to roll out wireless Internet access across six major UK cities, Leeds will get a city wide invisible communications network, allowing laptops and wi-fi enabled mobile devices to connect wherever they are.
BT believes that the benefits of this are myriad: health service and social workers could take a 'virtual' hospital or clinic out to their patients at home on a wireless-connected laptop; tourists would be able to call-up the latest information about places of interest, hotel accommodation and so forth; commuters would be able to get the latest information on public transport updates and information. A wireless enabled city could change the way a lot of us live our lives.
It’s a dream for me too, really - to be able to drop the laptop down wherever I am, and connect to the Internet immediately. In some parts of the world, this is already getting close - when I was in London recently, I was amazed at how many wireless networks my laptop picked up. But the system being planned by BT would provide something much more extensive and rich than has been available so far.