Author Topic: Has The First Chapter Of New Wifi 2 Deal Been Written?  (Read 104127 times)

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Offline komadori

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Re: Has The First Chapter Of New Wifi 2 Deal Been Written?
« Reply #20 on: September 15, 2011, 10:00:30 AM »

http://www.swindonadvertiser.co.uk/news/9251317.__3m_scheme_will_speed_up_internet/


Yet another hard-hitting investigative 'exclusive' from the Adver. :WTF:
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Got Signal

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Re: Has The First Chapter Of New Wifi 2 Deal Been Written?
« Reply #21 on: September 15, 2011, 10:22:51 AM »
The report itself is nothing more than a nudge, nudge, wink, wink dressed up as a fanfare, but in fact is nothing more than a whimpering leak. If Tory councillors vote for this then that is their concern, but in my opinion they will at their own voilition be jumping from the frying pan onto the fire.

As George W Bush said make a fool of me once and shame on you, make a fool of me twice and shame on me!

Jim Grant is right to ask for council bosses to quit and this is an example of why that should happen its two birds in the bush is better than two birds..... in the er... bush.


Offline Des Moffatt

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Re: Has The First Chapter Of New Wifi 2 Deal Been Written?
« Reply #22 on: September 15, 2011, 10:33:33 AM »
I share these thoughts about 4G yet I have self doubt. How can the Council professionals refer to something so obviously wrong? Are contributors completely sure of our collective assumptions, namely 4G is the next wave of band release not yet auctioned and intended primarily for the mobile iphone and ipad which themselves render the concept of static routers irrelevant. To be fair it is reported that the New York mobile system is slowing down. Is that relevant information?
Ps Don’t blame the lad Kula, he was subjected to sustained abuse on the grounds of being Labour biased and responded accordingly.

Offline Chris Watts

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Re: Has The First Chapter Of New Wifi 2 Deal Been Written?
« Reply #23 on: September 15, 2011, 10:38:35 AM »
I share these thoughts about 4G yet I have self doubt. How can the Council professionals refer to something so obviously wrong? Are contributors completely sure of our collective assumptions, namely 4G is the next wave of band release not yet auctioned and intended primarily for the mobile iphone and ipad which themselves render the concept of static routers irrelevant. To be fair it is reported that the New York mobile system is slowing down. Is that relevant information?
Ps Don’t blame the lad Kula, he was subjected to sustained abuse on the grounds of being Labour biased and responded accordingly.
I reckon they are now referring to the current WiMAX as 4G to give it more kudos and to counter a certain councillor who, on more than one occasion, has waived his Iphone in the air stating that 4G is coming and will render this WiFi obsolete. :)
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Offline Des Moffatt

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Re: Has The First Chapter Of New Wifi 2 Deal Been Written?
« Reply #24 on: September 15, 2011, 10:53:27 AM »
Ohi Chris, are you taking the Michael. It was you who educated me about WiMAX and WiMAX is not 4G. CAPITA have installed WiMAX in all the Children’s Centres already to enable high speed connection between them and the Council. That avoids the hefty BT charges I am told and has nothing whatever to do with WiFi I was assured by the officers involved.
 Come on now, help me understand what they mean in this reference to 4G. Ring me on my Samsung Gallaxy2

Offline Chris Watts

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Re: Has The First Chapter Of New Wifi 2 Deal Been Written?
« Reply #25 on: September 15, 2011, 11:39:55 AM »
Ohi Chris, are you taking the Michael. It was you who educated me about WiMAX and WiMAX is not 4G. CAPITA have installed WiMAX in all the Children’s Centres already to enable high speed connection between them and the Council. That avoids the hefty BT charges I am told and has nothing whatever to do with WiFi I was assured by the officers involved.
 Come on now, help me understand what they mean in this reference to 4G. Ring me on my Samsung Gallaxy2
Wikipedia
Pre-4G technologies such as mobile WiMAX and first-release Long term evolution (LTE) have been on the market since 2006[2] and 2009[3][4][5] respectively, and though often branded as 4G in marketing materials, the current versions of these technologies provide downstream peak bitrates of 144 Mbit/s and 100 Mbit/s respectively, and consequently do not fulfill the original ITU-R requirements of data rates approximately up to 1 Gbit/s for 4G systems.

If the council are now trying to re-brand their current WiMAX installation as 4G it is purely for spin and to counter the argument that 4G would make the digital city option obsolete.
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Offline Steve Wakefield

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Re: Has The First Chapter Of New Wifi 2 Deal Been Written?
« Reply #26 on: September 15, 2011, 11:43:27 AM »
Jim, and I believe others will not be steered away from the path that is currently  being followed on this one until the £400K is accounted for and paid by the DC company as existed Oct 2009-Oct 2011. The deal is proported to be signed off before the end of October, is that because that is when the politicians said the loan would be paid? If Cllr Rod Bluh and Cllr Garry Perkins do not receive the £400K paid in full at the end of October what will they do next to recover it? Is the equipment in Highworth really worth 400K?.

I find myself a little non plussed at  how will they explain to council tax payers that the "possiblity" of a dividend over the next 5 years (subject to success of the new venture) is one and the same thing?  Is this more about kicking the wifi ball into the political long grass rather than delivering the underlying tennet of free wifi for everyone in Swindon?



 
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Offline whistleblower

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Re: Has The First Chapter Of New Wifi 2 Deal Been Written?
« Reply #27 on: September 15, 2011, 12:00:31 PM »
As a long time lurker I couldn't resist commenting now >:D

The report has enough clues to identify the "mystery investor".

So a company who specializes in city-wide wireless broadband, holds spectrum for LTE, revenues about $3 Billion...

http://www.telecoms.com/29272/pccw-looking-to-build-uks-first-lte-network/
http://www.ukbroadband.com

Draw your conclusions ;)

As to why they would be interested in Digital City I have no idea, but educated guess would be some hefty financial incentive...

Offline Steve Wakefield

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Re: Has The First Chapter Of New Wifi 2 Deal Been Written?
« Reply #28 on: September 15, 2011, 12:08:19 PM »
Ohi Chris, are you taking the Michael. It was you who educated me about WiMAX and WiMAX is not 4G. CAPITA have installed WiMAX in all the Children’s Centres already to enable high speed connection between them and the Council. That avoids the hefty BT charges I am told and has nothing whatever to do with WiFi I was assured by the officers involved.
 Come on now, help me understand what they mean in this reference to 4G. Ring me on my Samsung Gallaxy2

Des

No, but as you know I have said you will be able to have your "Chamberlain" moment again as you stand there in the chamber waving your wireless widget for all to see. Agree on your take about 4G wimax, which is I believe 3G PP?  I think the PP stands for point to point ie signals travel in line of sight? However this is not about techie feely, touchy twiddly bits, its about £400k of dosh. A point not lost  on the ordinary members of the public  I speak to who are not scrutinising wifi to the depth some of us are. They are far more astute about what the reality of the nub of wifi is than some politicians percieve it to be.
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Offline Des Morgan

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Re: Has The First Chapter Of New Wifi 2 Deal Been Written?
« Reply #29 on: September 15, 2011, 12:54:49 PM »
Quote
The report has enough clues to identify the "mystery investor".


Indeed - and i recall mentioning UK Broadband in a previous post, regret the search facility isn't helping me at the moment, but not to worry.

Quote
Working with local authorities and partners we provide urban and rural access solutions to enable public sector organisations to reduce costs, improve services for their citizens and exploit potential new revenue streams.

We are building wireless networks that will transform services such as public transport, education, healthcare and emergency services, while providing fast and secure mobile connectivity for businesses and citizens.

These wireless networks can cost effectively tackle social and digital inclusion challenges in our cities, whilst also providing fast broadband access to rural areas not served by traditional fixed networks.

And to quote further from their website - with a little license to insert Swindon -

Quote
Imagine a town like Swindon where...

•intelligent transport networks have made delays and congestion a thing of the past
•students and teachers can connect virtually for innovative new ways of learning
•health and social care professionals have real-time access to information in their their patients' homes
•re-deployable wireless CCTV has reduced crime and enabled faster reactions to public safety threats
... and all these services are available to all, including those who are currently socially or digitally excluded plus visiting professionals and tourists.

The flexibility and reliability of 4G in licensed spectrum means it is now possible to deliver on previous wireless city promises. Working alongside our partners, UK Broadband has the spectrum, technology and expertise to deliver economically sustainable solutions.


Offline komadori

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Re: Has The First Chapter Of New Wifi 2 Deal Been Written?
« Reply #30 on: September 15, 2011, 04:56:47 PM »
In the Adver report it says (though not as a quote) that
Quote from: The Adver
Despite enjoying a share of the profits under the new deal, the council will not spend any money, having simply laid the foundations for the new project.

Yet what the Cabinet is being asked to approve is progression to a Due Diligence phase. So the Council must be contributing something. It would be interesting to know the financial value of Swindon Borough Council's contribution to this project, and what the risk to the value of the asset might be. The council may not be spending money, but it will, at the very least, be spending time - and must have already done so - and possibly make other contributions which though not cash will have a monetary value. So how much more is this costing us? And has that cost been taken into account in the, apparently spurious, claims that the council may get a return in five years that would cover its investment in Digital City (UK) Ltd?
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Offline Geoff Reid

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Re: Has The First Chapter Of New Wifi 2 Deal Been Written?
« Reply #31 on: September 15, 2011, 05:10:13 PM »

I loved the Cabinet report published this week, in its own way it's one of the finest pieces of fiction and bluster the Bluh Idiocracy has ever produced. 

No need for steady hands, carefully sharpened scalpels and a steel dissection table to take a good look inside that patient because its veins are so swollen with the creative juices of civic exaggeration that little more than a metaphorical hedge trimmer is needed to expose it for what it is. In any case, TS members have already highlighted most of the bullshit points it contains  ;D

My own opinion is that the report is designed to provide a protective, (perhaps it is hoped it is bombproof?), jacket around Cllr's Bluh and Perkins after their resignations were recently called for.  I suspect that if Labour Councillors put forward a Leader-and-deputy-leader-to-resign motion to council next week, this report will be furiously waved by every loyal Conservative as proof that Cllr Bluh is indeed visionary and was right to give £400,000 of our money to his mate....
 
 
Anyhow....


On March 3rd 2011 I posted and blogged the following:

Also Blogged Here: http://www.geoffreid.com/?p=1022




Followers of the Swindon WiFi'asco will already be aware that the Public/Private partnership scheme ran into serious difficulty in 2010 after one of its three partners, (Digital City (UK) Ltd),  spent the £400,000 of public money lent to it by Swindon Borough Council but failed to provide the town with the promised Borough-Wide WiFi network.

To all intents and purposes the project appeared to be completely stalled and public attention turned to the subject of the 'lost' £400,000 and who, if anyone, the Council would pursue as it tried to get our money back.   Some mirth recently arose from the recent spectacle of Garry Perkins, the deputy leader of Swindon Borough Council, (also a Director of Digital City), unsuccessfully trying to lay the blame for the financial collapse of Digital City on members of the public. North Swindon MP Justin Tomlinson has described Councillor Perkin's claims as 'nonsense'.

But, never afraid to make bold, (and often inaccurate), claims, Cllr Perkins then promised that a 'new investor' investor had been found and that the £400,000 would be repaid in a matter of weeks.

Yesterday, 3rd March 2011, newly published Council documents revealed that Swindon Borough council appears to be letting both the directors of Digital City, Rikki Hunt & Garry Perkins, completely off the hook, (as far as recovering the public loan money from either man is concerned), and has instead decided that:

Quote
The Council therefore needs to explore options for securing additional investment to ensure that the Council’s loan to Digital City is repaid


At 02.00hrs this morning Companies House records showed that Swindon Borough Council were still a minority shareholder of Digital City (UK) Ltd, but it appears to be behaving as if it it owns or controls the company. 

To be clear, Swindon Borough Council is a separate legal entity from Digital City UK Ltd and, as I understand it, the Council should be seeking to recover 6 months worth of unpaid loan instalments and the outstanding loan capital of £400,000 from the Directors of the company.   Had the council 'secured' the loan by registering a charge against the assets of Digital City in 2009, (something it had stated it would do - and then didn't),  at least some of the defaulted loan would be recoverable by seizing assets. 

The council forgot or, to be more specific, Hitesh Patel, the Accidental Director of Digital City and also Swindon Borough Councils Director of Business Transformation, simply failed to register the legal charge within the time limit set out in law.  SBC's legal eagle, Stephen Taylor,  recently tried to pass this failure off as a 'typographical error' instead of simply admitting that the Corporate Director level of the council seems to be riddled with incompetents.

I think the Council should be pursuing Garry Perkins & Rikki Hunt for the £400,000 (plus missed interest payments), but instead seems intent on spending yet more public money to keep this scheme alive,  and Garry Perkins out of court.  Perhaps this is why, for several months,  Perkins has been hysterically babbling that a  'new investor' for Digital definitely exists.  Yesterdays publication of council documents make his claim seem slightly more credible today than they seemed last week.

I am sure Garry would have much relieved to learn that:

Quote
The  investor is demanding a 'confidentiality and non-disclosure’ agreement  before it will enter discussions with the council.


For its part, the  council says

Quote
"A potential investor is interested in investing in a high-speed wireless network for Swindon and is seeking to work with the Council on exploring options and approaches for this to happen. This company has the appropriate expertise and track record as well as the financial security to make the level of investment needed. The potential investor is, therefore, requesting that the Council enter into a ‘confidentiality and non-disclosure’ agreement so that both parties can enter into confidential commercial discussions"



For me, this is where the charade falls apart.  I don't believe any sensible investor would look twice at Digital City.  It owns almost nothing of commercial value, has not completed a fraction of the promised wifi network,  has only 20 customers paying a maximum of £9.99 each month and has been defaulting on its £400,000 to Swindon Borough Council for the last 5 months.  The company is obviously fucked - so why the confidentiality agreement?

The Confidentiality agreement:

The confidentiality agreement serves several purposes, not least of which would be to give the council a 'legitimate',  (in its view), reason not to answer a  Freedom of information request I recently submitted to it, of which 3 of its 11 questions are quoted below:

Quote
10a. Will Stuart MacKeller be reviewing the investment/loan, or other financial arrangements, agreements and understandings with Digital City (UK) Ltd, Avidity Consulting and aQovia Ltd ? In all instances: Now the loan has been defaulted on, what steps will Mr MacKellar be taking in his capacity as 151 Officer to recover the outstanding £400,000 loan and missed interest payments due from Digital City (UK) Ltd or other individuals and organisations?

11. Has, or will, the Head of Audit at Swindon Borough Council, be asked or required to audit the material facts of the WiFi update  report (as presented to Scrutiny on Monday 7th February 2011) including, but not limited to, the circumstances surrounding the registration or non-registration of a charge against the assets of Digital City (UK) Ltd, the non payment of interest payments by Digital City (UK) Ltd

12. What steps is Swindon Borough Council taking to establish why Mr Hunt resigned as Director of Avidity Consulting Ltd and who is now in legal control of the 30% share of Digital City (UK) Ltd held by Avidity Consulting Ltd after Mr John Richard Hunt resigned and was replaced by his wife, Mrs Laura Hunt?




Secondly, this confidentiality agreement will effectively neuter all aspects of  Council Scrutiny of every aspects of the WiFiasco while it is in force.  This will be especially useful for an administration that has already declared it intends to prevent public scrutiny of other 'deals' it wants to make.

Thirdly, the confidentiality agreement will be in force until just after the local elections in May, (only 8 weeks away).  How convenient is that for Councillor Perkins?, Garry will be able to conduct his election campaign without answering any awkward questions about his Directorship at Digital City, the missing £400,000 or what's happening now.

"Sorry my old mate, I can't talk about that, it's confidential, so.......vote for me?"

But, I hear you ask: "This is a lot of trouble to go to if the intention is to save political blushes, avoid the embarrassing spectacle of Swindon Council taking its Deputy leader to court to recover £400,000 of public money and last, but not least,  give Cllr Perkins an unfair advantage over his political rivals in the May local elections?" and normally I would agree with you, but I'd ask you to consider the following bit of semi-recent history and then reflect on current wifi'asco related events.

In 2007 the last Labour government funded an electronic voting pilot/trial in Swindon and on polling day voters were able to vote electronically from 64 locations in Swindon.

Each of the 64 polling stations in Swindon was equipped with between 2 and 10 laptop computers and connectivity at each polling stations was provided by either wireless technology,  (WiMax), or BT  broadband.

I understand that 8 polling stations had to use a BT Broadband connection because their locations were unsuitable for Wimax connectivity but the remaining 56 polling stations were equipped with Wimax connectivity.

At the time, there was quite a bit of news coverage of the e-voting trials but that gradually subsided and interest in Swindon Councils Wimax  network waned until it had faded almost completely into the background to the point when nobody seemed to remember our Wimax system even existed when Digital City's 'new' scheme was being hailed by the council as the best, most 'innovative' and 'unique' thing to arrive in Swindon since Mr Hovis started slicing his bread.

At some point though, someone at Swindon Borough Council apparently remembered it already owned a Wimax system - possibly when they realised the Digital City Scheme bore the flightworthiness characteristics of the Hindenburg - pulled the dust covers off and started pumping serious amounts of taxpayers cash into it.  About £98,000 to be reasonably precise, plus the annual licence fees the Council is now paying to Ofcom - all for a  system it doesn't seem to want to talk about.

If I'm right about this, Swindon Borough Council already owns a Borough-Wide Wimax Hi Speed wireless internet system which comprises up to 64 fully functioning Wimax transmitter/receivers mounted on 64 separate buildings.  Make no mistake, this is a large industrial grade high-speed wireless internet system which is well-suited to being expanded upon and used as the 'spine' of a fully functioning Borough-wide wifi mesh.

At present, members of the public cannot access this Wimax system because it is a high-speed 'point to point' system, (this type of system is often used where cables or fibre optics can't easily be put), which delivers internet access to singular points,  (imagine shining a laser at a particular point and you'll get the principle), but it is from each of these individual points that a properly open and publicly accessible conventional wifi system can branch out, (using the same lamp post mounted transmitters used by Digital City in Highworth), along the streets of Swindon.

I also suspect it is no coincidence that the Council intends to spend £1,200,000 (yep, £1.2 million), 'upgrading' lamp post in the Borough.  An odd thing to do when it is cutting jobs, services and everything else it can to the bone.

In conclusion then, when the Council says it it looking for investors in the Wifi scheme, I humbly ask that readers consider the above and reflect on whether the council is seeking investors solely for the failed Digital City Wifi'asco, or is actually using the heat, light and smoke generated by the WiFi'asco to disguise a much bigger purpose than any of us had previously supposed:  That the next 'deal' will probably include the much larger but-not-much-discussed Wimax scheme, £1.2 million worth of new infrastructure and last, and most definitely least, the remnants of the failed Digital City scheme in Highworth.

For what it's worth, I think the confidentiality agreement is intended to achieve so many objectives, (mostly political), that it will almost certainly fail to achieve most if not all of them.



I'm not trying to divert this thread, (nor bang my own drum), but I will be interested to see how much of the above is still holding water.

Answers, flamings and mickey-takes in the existing thread please: Where's our WiFi?: March 2011 - Is it WiFi or is it actually Wimax?


Loving this, I really am, and I say that as someone who is not anti-wifi, but is anti-idiot, anti-bullshitter and anti-moron  ;D

Offline Geoff Reid

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Re: Has The First Chapter Of New Wifi 2 Deal Been Written?
« Reply #32 on: September 15, 2011, 05:11:28 PM »
In the Adver report it says (though not as a quote) that
Quote from: The Adver
Despite enjoying a share of the profits under the new deal, the council will not spend any money, having simply laid the foundations for the new project.

Yet what the Cabinet is being asked to approve is progression to a Due Diligence phase. So the Council must be contributing something. It would be interesting to know the financial value of Swindon Borough Council's contribution to this project, and what the risk to the value of the asset might be. The council may not be spending money, but it will, at the very least, be spending time - and must have already done so - and possibly make other contributions which though not cash will have a monetary value. So how much more is this costing us? And has that cost been taken into account in the, apparently spurious, claims that the council may get a return in five years that would cover its investment in Digital City (UK) Ltd?


A WiMax system, a few thousand lamp posts, out-sourcing it's communications to Capita and it's new WiFi partner?

It'll be interesting to see how accurate this March 2011 bit of wi-speculation turns out to be:

Quote from: Me
In conclusion then, when the Council says it it looking for investors in the Wifi scheme, I humbly ask that readers consider the above and reflect on whether the council is seeking investors solely for the failed Digital City Wifi'asco, or is actually using the heat, light and smoke generated by the WiFi'asco to disguise a much bigger purpose than any of us had previously supposed:  That the next 'deal' will probably include the much larger but-not-much-discussed Wimax scheme, £1.2 million worth of new infrastructure and last, and most definitely least, the remnants of the failed Digital City scheme in Highworth.

Offline Mart

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Re: Has The First Chapter Of New Wifi 2 Deal Been Written?
« Reply #33 on: September 15, 2011, 08:09:30 PM »
Whatever happens there is still one inescapable fact.

SBC has no business in the telecoms / IT market other than as a customer and, even if this deal generates squillions of quids we'll always be £400k down on the deal.

Whether you back a winner, or not, council tax payers' money is not intended to fund speculative ventures, especially those that test the definition of 'within the rules' to their raggedy arse limits. 'Play this through your head, 'Yeah love, I lobbed all the rent money on a sure thing at Kempton, and do you know, it only bloody won'. Will the recipient of this information be: A. Delighted, B. A tad miffed, or C. Bloody incandescent? My missus would fall comfortably into category C.

Personally it looks like a lot of aspirational puff, if it was anyone else I'd give them the benefit of the doubt, but it's not. So I won't.
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Re: Has The First Chapter Of New Wifi 2 Deal Been Written?
« Reply #34 on: September 15, 2011, 08:14:44 PM »
Do European or Local Tendering Rules Apply Swindon Borough Council Or Leader Rod Bluh and his Wifi? This  the second time there is a Wifi and I can see no Evidence of a Tendering process.  Why are the councillors allowing this to happen?  Can Swindon Council avoid  tendering  a £1 million pound contract a figure reported in the adver?

Offline Chav

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Re: Has The First Chapter Of New Wifi 2 Deal Been Written?
« Reply #35 on: September 15, 2011, 08:45:52 PM »
Ohi Chris, are you taking the Michael. It was you who educated me about WiMAX and WiMAX is not 4G. CAPITA have installed WiMAX in all the Children’s Centres already to enable high speed connection between them and the Council. That avoids the hefty BT charges I am told and has nothing whatever to do with WiFi I was assured by the officers involved.
 Come on now, help me understand what they mean in this reference to 4G. Ring me on my Samsung Gallaxy2

Did you know that you can tether your Samsung Galxy 2   to your laptop or tablet device and enable wifi on both. (Only if  you already have wifi on your phone)
I have the Samsung Galaxy 1, and there are also some good free wifi hot spot apps in the Android market of course   >:D
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Offline komadori

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Re: Has The First Chapter Of New Wifi 2 Deal Been Written?
« Reply #36 on: September 15, 2011, 08:46:23 PM »
Do European or Local Tendering Rules Apply Swindon Borough Council Or Leader Rod Bluh and his Wifi? This  the second time there is a Wifi and I can see no Evidence of a Tendering process.  Why are the councillors allowing this to happen?  Can Swindon Council avoid  tendering  a £1 million pound contract a figure reported in the adver?


The Adver says £1M is to be spent, it does not say that the £1M will come from the council. In fact it says quite the opposite.

In the Adver report it says (though not as a quote) that
Quote from: The Adver
Despite enjoying a share of the profits under the new deal, the council will not spend any money, having simply laid the foundations for the new project.


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Offline moley

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Re: Has The First Chapter Of New Wifi 2 Deal Been Written?
« Reply #37 on: September 15, 2011, 08:53:44 PM »
But who's paying for the  power used by the equipment?

Wired devices could potentially use Power over ethernet, but if it's some kind of wireless mesh it will need electricity to run it.

Whilst each device may not take that much power there's a fairly large multiplication factor at work here...

Is the money the council will get simply paying for electricity?

Moley

Offline komadori

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Re: Has The First Chapter Of New Wifi 2 Deal Been Written?
« Reply #38 on: September 15, 2011, 09:03:37 PM »
Quite. Hence my earlier question about what is the financial value of the council's contribution to this project. Though it's not that difficult to remotely meter installations... once you've installed such an electricity meter. Presumably the council will investigate such things thoroughly as part of their 'due diligence'.
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Offline Steve Wakefield

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Re: Has The First Chapter Of New Wifi 2 Deal Been Written?
« Reply #39 on: September 15, 2011, 09:37:22 PM »
Moley, Komadori

thanks for your posts some points to ponder  O0
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