Boris pledges to make London 'most digital' city in the world

Boris pledges to make London 'most digital' city in the world

Tech entrepreneurs can help take the UK out of the recession

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Mayor of London Boris Johnson has pledged to make London the most Wi-Fi accessible city in the world if he is re-elected into his position next month.

"My ambition over the next four years is to make this the most digitally-covered and Wi-Fi accessible city in Europe, if not the world," Johnson told delegates at the InnoTech Summit in London today. The London mayoral elections are taking place on 3 May.

The UK capital is currently "up there in the league" of cities with good Wi-Fi access, said Johnson. He referred to the Wi-Fi connectivity that is due to be rolled out across 120 Tube stations with Virgin Media, 56 overground train stations with The Cloud and the half a million hotspots across London with BT.

Johnson believes that the technology industry can help boost the economy, with the creation of businesses, jobs and apprenticeships.

The number of digital companies that have set up in east London's Tech City has grown from 226 to 600 over the past three years. Skype recently announced a recruitment drive for engineers in London, and in 2010 there were 1,300 apprenticeships created in the area, he said.

"I believe the figure in 2011 might be even higher," said Johnson. "I think these apprenticeships offer real hope to young Londoners who might not have strong literacy skills, but they sure know how to use a BlackBerry."

He also praised the entrepreneurship of young Londoners such as Nick D'Aloisio, the 16-year-old creator of the Summly iPhone app, which recently attracted $250,000 of investment.

"That is the kind of entrepreneurship that is going to lead London and this country out of the recession," said Johnson.

Photo: Think London

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