Landmark deal creates Europe’s largest free wifi zone

P. John made this Freedom of Information request to Westminster City Council

This request has been closed to new correspondence from the public body. Contact us if you think it ought be re-opened.

The request was partially successful.

Dear Westminster City Council,

I understand from a recent press release that Westminster City Council (Cllr Philippa Roe, Cabinet Member for Strategic Finance at Westminster City Council) has reached a 'landmark' agreement with O2/Telefonica allowing the installation of a wifi network in the area.

Please could you disclose to me
- the agreement, terms, conditions, and cost to the council of that agreement with O2/Telefonica
- minutes of meetings with O2/Telefonica on the same topic
- any related correspondence (email/letter/fax etc) between Westminster CC and O2/Telefonica

Could you confirm or deny; have any advertising companies been involved in the initiation of this project? Particularly Phorm (who are partners with O2/Telefonica) or Experian?

Yours faithfully,

P John

Westminster City Council

Confirmation of Freedom Of Information Request

Thank you for your request for information.

Your request details have now been recorded and will be passed on to the
appropriate Divisional Records Officer for action.

This Freedom Of Information Request was based on the following
information:

Name: P John
Address: See email address
Email: [FOI #99528 email]
Telephone:
Request Details: I understand from a recent press release that
Westminster City
Council (Cllr Philippa Roe, Cabinet Member for Strategic Finance at
Westminster City Council) has reached a 'landmark' agreement with
O2/Telefonica allowing the installation of a wifi network in the
area.

Please could you disclose to me
- the agreement, terms, conditions, and cost to the council of that
agreement with O2/Telefonica
- minutes of meetings with O2/Telefonica on the same topic
- any related correspondence (email/letter/fax etc) between
Westminster CC and O2/Telefonica

Could you confirm or deny; have any advertising companies been
involved in the initiation of this project? Particularly Phorm (who
are partners with O2/Telefonica) or Experian?

FOI Reference Number: 8230
Target Completion Date: 06/02/2012

Please do not reply to this email.
This is an automatic response to your request, and replies to this message
will not be actioned.

If you need to contact Westminster City Council regarding your request,
please contact:

mailto:[Westminster City Council request email]
Tel:020 7641 3921

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FOI, Westminster City Council

1 Attachment

  • Attachment

    Metro Wireless Cabinet Member Report for Approval Report FOI RedactedVersion.pdf

    161K Download View as HTML

Dear P John

 

Thank you for your recent request to the council. You asked to be provided
with the following information:

 

Please could you disclose to me

- the agreement, terms, conditions, and cost to the council of that
agreement with O2/Telefonica

- minutes of meetings with O2/Telefonica on the same topic

- any related correspondence (email/letter/fax etc) between Westminster CC
and O2/Telefonica

 

Response

 

Please find attached the report of the Cabinet Member for Finance dated
21^st November 2011 which details the council’s agreement with O2 /
Telefonica for the Public Access Wi-Fi Network.

 

Please note that some of the information within the report has been
redacted as it is subject to an exemption under the Freedom of Information
Act 2000; specifically Section 43(2): Commercial Interests. Any
correspondence held by the council between Westminster Council and
O2/Telefonica is also exempt on the same grounds. Further details of the
exemption are provided in the Refusal Notice below.

 

The Information Services department has confirmed that no minutes were
taken of meetings with O2/Telefonica and thus this information is not
held.

 

Refusal Notice

 

Some of the information you have requested is exempt from disclosure under
Section 43(2) of the Freedom of Information Act 2000: Commercial
Interests. This is a qualified exemption and thus subject to a Public
Interest Test.

 

The contract to which the requested information relates was only let at
the beginning of December 2011. Although the Council must be accountable
for its decisions, the disclosure of information about recently awarded
contracts could prejudice its ability to obtain the best possible
contract, avoiding unnecessary cost to the taxpayer. This requirement to
obtain value for money is weighed against the council’s obligations to be
open and transparent in its decision making process. As the contract was
only let within the last 2 months, it is the council’s opinion that at
this time, the public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighs the
public interest in disclosure.

 

Consequently, this email acts as a refusal notice with respect to the
redacted information contained with the attached Cabinet Paper and any
correspondence with O2 / Telefonica that may be held. This Refusal Notice
is in accordance with Section 17 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

 

Should you be dissatisfied with this response, please set out your grounds
in writing to the address at the end of this email. You are also entitled
to contact the Information Commissioner pursuant to Section 50 of the
Freedom of Information Act 2000. For your convenience, his contact details
are provided below.

 

Information Commissioner’s Office

Wycliffe House

Water Lane

Wilmslow

Cheshire

SK9 5AF

 

W: [1]www.ico.gov.uk

 

 

 

Yours sincerely

 

 

Knowledge and Information Management Team
Information Services

Westminster City Council
10th Floor, East
City Hall
64 Victoria Street
London
SW1E 6QP
Tel: 020 7641 3921
Fax: 020 7641 2872
Email: [2][Westminster City Council request email]
[3]www.westminster.gov.uk

 

 

 

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Dear Westminster City Council,

Please pass this on to the person who conducts Freedom of Information reviews.

I am writing to request an internal review of Westminster City Council's handling of my FOI request 'Landmark deal creates Europe’s largest free wifi zone'.

I would be grateful if you would reconsider the extensive redactions, particularly given that O2 claim "To ensure transparency of revenue generated O2 will provide open-book accounting".

It is hardly transparent or open-book accounting if the terms & conditions, and figures are hidden from the public. Exactly the opposite.

I am also particularly concerned about the reference in the disclosed documents to revenue from advertising. If this is based on analysis of the content of private/confidential communications, there are significant legal concerns (illegal interception, fraud, copyright theft, right to privacy, and computer misuse).

By way of example, the advertising company Phorm claim to be involved in such schemes;

http://www.phorm.com/assets/reports/Stat...

"We are delighted to announce this first test of the Pagesense Javascript technology on a metropolitan wi-fi network. The inclusion of our smart advertising on the network will allow wireless ISPs to offer a free service through advertisements, a model similar to that of the free television stations."

I would like to assure myself that nothing similar is included in the deal between the council and O2.

In the document disclosed you state;

"7. Human Rights Implications
7.1. There are no human rights implications associated with this contract."

Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights guarantees the right to privacy in the following terms;

"Article 8 – Right to respect for private and family life

1. Everyone has the right to respect for his private and family life, his home and his correspondence.

2. There shall be no interference by a public authority with the exercise of this right except such as is in accordance with the law and is necessary in a democratic society in the interests of national security, public safety or the economic well-being of the country, for the prevention of disorder or crime, for the protection of health or morals, or for the protection of the rights and freedoms of others."

Thus the right to privacy in communications, particularly without interference by a public authority, is a significant concern that the contract would appear (based on the information provided to date) to ignore.

A full history of my FOI request and all correspondence is available on the Internet at this address:
http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/la...

Yours faithfully,

P. John

FOI, Westminster City Council

Dear P. John

Thank you for your email below regarding your recent Freedom of Information Request. An Internal Review will now be undertaken in line with the council's internal review procedure. We aim to respond to you within 20 working days of this email i.e. no later than 2nd April 2012, although we shall endeavour to respond as soon as possible.

Yours sincerely

Knowledge and Information Management Team
Information Services
Westminster City Council
10th Floor, East
City Hall
64 Victoria Street
London
SW1E 6QP
Tel: 020 7641 3921
Fax: 020 7641 2872
Email: [Westminster City Council request email]
www.westminster.gov.uk

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FOI, Westminster City Council

Dear P John,

 

Thank you for your email requesting an Internal Review into your recent
FOI request.

 

I can confirm that we are in the process of looking into your query, and
will aim to respond within 10 working days.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

 

Knowledge & Information Management Team

 

Westminster City Hall

10th Floor East

64 Victoria Street

London

SW1E 6QP

T: 0207 641 3921

F: 0207 641 2872

E: [email address]

 

 

 

 

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FOI, Westminster City Council

Dear P John

 

Further to our recent correspondence, it has not been possible to complete
the Internal Review into the handling of your recent request. It is
anticipated that the council will require a further 5 working days in
which to respond to your request.

 

If you have any queries, please contact the team at the address below

 

Yours sincerely

 

 

Knowledge and Information Management Team
Information Services

Westminster City Council
10th Floor, East
City Hall
64 Victoria Street
London
SW1E 6QP
Tel: 020 7641 3921
Fax: 020 7641 2872
Email: [1][Westminster City Council request email]
[2]www.westminster.gov.uk

 

 

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FOI, Westminster City Council

1 Attachment

Dear P John,

 

Thank you for your email requesting an internal review into the handling
of your recent request.

 

Please find the council’s response attached.

 

Should you have any further queries please do not hesitate to contact us
care of the details below.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

 

Knowledge & Information Management Team

 

Westminster City Hall

10th Floor East

64 Victoria Street

London

SW1E 6QP

T: 0207 641 3921

F: 0207 641 2872

E: [email address]

 

 

 

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