City launches free gigabit Wi-Fi network in UK

City launches ultra-fast free, gigabit Wi-Fi

The City of London Corporation has launched its ultra-fast free, gigabit Wi-Fi network offering workers, residents and visitors what it says is are unparalleled individual user speeds ranging from 50 to 180 megabits per second.

With over 150 Wi-Fi access points installed using City of London street furniture, users across public spaces in the City will enjoy widespread, high speed and seamless coverage throughout the Square Mile – something never before seen in London.

The network requires a one-time only registration, allowing users to experience high bandwidth services, free from advertisements, at over 10 times faster speeds than previously available in the area. At these upgraded speeds, users can download a film (700 megabytes) in less than two minutes, whereas a standard broadband line (10 megabits per second) would download the same film in around 12 minutes.

The gigabit Wi-Fi operated by O2, in partnership with cornerstone Technology Infrastructure Ltd (CTIL), as part of a 15-year contract is set to develop both Wi-Fi and mobile connectivity in the City.

The multi-million-pound network project was built within 28 weeks in partnership with Virgin Media, UK Power Networks and the City’s Highways contractor, J B Riney & Co Ltd.

Catherine McGuiness, policy chairman at the city of London Corporation commented on the network’s launch saying, “As a global financial centre we provide services for a diverse range of City occupiers. With nearly 99% of City firms SMEs, 8% of the workforce from the technology, media and telecommunications industry, and a host of start-ups moving to the City, it is vital that our digital services match the fast-paced needs of our workers.”

This point was echoed by the chief operating officer, O2, Derek McManus affirming,We understand the importance of digital connectivity in terms of driving the economy and ensuring that London can continue to compete on a global scale. This is why we’re investing in the City of London’s wireless infrastructure, to give people what they need wherever they are – reliable internet on the go.”

Commenting on the end-user experience, Jamie Olejnik, technical programme manager, CTIL described the network as, “robust, secure and free with no gimmicks…providing comfort to the end-user.”

The City of London Corporation provides local government and policing services for the financial and commercial heart of Britain, otherwise known as the ‘Square Mile’.



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