The Square Mile could soon be home to free 1GB WiFi, with a new public network being promised as soon as the Spring.
Currently the free WiFi in Central London comes from The Cloud, which is operated by Sky – but officials don’t think it’s providing a good enough service for the 400,000 City workers and 10 million yearly visitors to the capital.
Now the City of London Corporation (CoLC) have announced plans to expand free London WiFi and greatly improve mobile coverage. The Corporation gave the green light to the new network earlier this week, and the service is expected to come into effect by the second quarter of 2017.
They want the new ultrafast Wifi to allow visitors and residents of London to use high-bandwidth services like video streaming while on the move.
According to a recent report by the Z/Yen Group, other major financial hubs such as New York, Tokyo, Hong Kong and Singapore are rapidly moving forward in terms of connectivity, with London lagging behind.
ColC want to change this, and are expected the name the provider of the new public WiFi in the next few weeks. Take a look at our guide to the broadband providers with the highest number of hotspots here.
Around 400 ‘small cells’ will be built as part of the project in order to improve the strength of the current wireless Internet we have in London. They will reportedly be attached objects like streets signs and lampposts.
In a statement: CoLC Policy and Resources Committee Chairman Mark Boleat said: “As the world’s leading financial hub, we are thrilled to bring our wireless connectivity up to speed.”
He added: “At a time when other major financial centres are competing with us, the Square Mile is boosting its appeal through initiatives such as this. The new service will allow City workers to become better connected than ever before.”
Deputy Mayor of London for Business Rajesh Agrawal said: “Fast and reliable digital connectivity is crucial for businesses and I’m really pleased the City of London Corporation is taking this significant step in improving speed and coverage in the Square Mile. “
He added: “The Mayor is committed to improving London’s connectivity, including tackling the capital’s ‘notspots’ and ensuring providers have better access to public-sector property for digital infrastructure.”