A Wi-Fi network running across the financial centre of the City of London has been made free to the public.
The Square Mile first became Wi-Fi enabled back in 2007, after the City of London Corporation signed a deal with The Cloud to turn the whole area into a hot spot.
However, those passing through the area could only access the network for free for a maximum of 15 minutes and then had to pay to stay connected.
During the London 2012 Olympics and Paralympics, the two organisations conducted a trial of making access free to see how much the 10,000 residents, 400,000 workers and five million visitors each year would use the network.
The trial lasted three months and saw user numbers almost double compared with the previous three, so the firms came to an agreement to make the free connectivity a permanent fixture.
“The demand for fast, reliable Wi-Fi constantly increases,” said Vince Russell, managing director of The Cloud.
The City of London has one of the biggest concentrations of smartphones in the UK, so having the best communications infrastructure in place to access vital information on the move is of critical importance
Mark Boleat, policy chairman, the City of London Corporation
“The success of our free Wi-Fi service during the Olympics and Paralympics demonstrated that it’s a vital technology for visitors and shoppers as much as the City’s business community, so we’re pleased we can now make it available to everyone, especially at a time when other providers are switching to pay-for-use services.”
The Cloud’s parent company, BSkyB, will provide a free content portal over the connection so users can check Sky News and Sky Sports News, as well as offering live travel updates from Transport for London (TfL).
Mark Boleat, policy chairman at the City of London Corporation, said the proliferation of devices across the particular section of London made this connectivity essential.
“As the world’s leading global financial and business centre, the City of London has one of the biggest concentrations of smartphones in the UK so having the best communications infrastructure in place to access vital information on the move is of critical importance,” he said.
“This partnership between the City of London Corporation and The Cloud will ensure that the Square Mile keeps pace with growing demand in a rapidly evolving technological landscape.”