The City of London will roll out a Wi-Fi network over the next six months, to give City workers and visitors access to the internet in the streets and open spaces across the Square Mile.
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Wi-Fi network operator The Cloud is to install and manage the network, with most of the Corporation’s area covered by October.
It follows The Cloud’s announcement of plans to set up a string of public wireless local area networks in cities across Britain. The company has already set up a Wi-Fi zone covering the Canary Wharf area of London’s Docklands.
The City of London Corporation, which is responsible for local government in the Square Mile, is paying nothing towards the costs of the project, a spokesperson confirmed. “It’s free, we’re just providing access. It’s up to them [The Cloud] to bear the costs.”
The Corporation will give The Cloud access to lampposts, road signs and other “street furniture” which will be used to install the network infrastructure.
The Cloud’s open network system will also allow service providers to use it to deliver a range of services including high-speed internet access, rich e-mail, music, video and voice over Wi-Fi services to their customers.
Michael Snyder, Chairman of the City of London’s policy committee, said: “We feel it is important to provide this technology to maintain our position as the world’s leading international financial centre. City workers and visitors will be able to use wireless broadband to work more efficiently; staying in touch with their office via hand-held devices while on the move.”