BT has announced that it is rolling out a wireless structure in six participating UK cities as part of a project to deliver WiFi to 12 cities by February 2007. The wireless mesh will consist of BT networks and individual hotspots operated by third parties.
Some might view BT's approach as an indirect way to get around its competitors. Collaboration with councils is one way for the ex-monopoly to claw back some of the market share that it lost to the competition.
Judging by the feedback that BT has received from the councils, the initial roll-up has every chance of getting nationwide. Councils are very positive about getting broadband to their fellow citizens as a right.
The Cloud had also announced such a scheme, although not with any council backup whatsoever, leaving it to the general public to choose their service as an alternative.
BT, however, wants the councils to use the wireless network as a service (applications like portable wireless cameras are on the agenda) and possibly included in your council tax somewhere in the future.