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No Wi-Fi in the Houses of Parliament in London make MPs surly: Equipment provided by the Parliament’s IT department have wireless communications disabled. MPs with their own laptops cannot use Wi-Fi within the Parliamentary Estate to access its network. While MPs are irritated, they also do clearly understand the security issues that have led to this.
It’s clear that the Houses of Parliament haven’t yet implemented 802.1X and end-point security, which would answer many of the concerns of security. With the appropriate client software for the two functions—some vendors can package both in one piece of software—logins are secured and restricted. The adapters (Bluetooth, Ethernet, Wi-Fi, and dial-up) can be disabled except for specific networks. The 802.1X portion allows a secure connection to a specific network with enforceable policies.
Bridgend in Wales appears to have contracted with The Cloud for Wi-Fi networks: Initially, 10 libraries will get coverage and ultimately a network will cover the town center. The Cloud will build the network so customers of 20 service providers who are The Cloud partners will be able to use the network.
The story notes that the government is worried that some people can’t afford to get online or don’t have computers. But this plan doesn’t exactly help because it sounds like users will have to pay to access the network.
A wireless LAN has been built for members of the Irish parliament: I’m actually not totally clear on what exactly has been built so far because there appears to be a phased rollout of the network. But the ultimate idea is to allow members of parliament here to use PDAs or laptops to access emails or other information stored on internal databases. For those of you outside of Ireland, Leinster House is the building that houses the Irish parliament and Oireachtas is the Gaelic word for parliament.
I’m hopeful that the WLAN in Leinster House will draw some attention to the potential of Wi-Fi here. I’ve found some very convenient hotspots in Dublin, but this city hasn’t experienced the Wi-Fi explosion of some other big cities around the globe