When it launched in the City of London in April 2007, The Cloud (now part of BSkyB), called their project to deploy Wi-Fi across the entire of the City of London to be 'Europe's most advanced Wi-Fi network.' A new initiative announced today will give Londoners 15 minutes of Wi-Fi access per day for free which they can use within the square mile. Not to be confused with London as a whole, the City of London covers around 1.1 square miles bordered by the river to the south, Barbican to the North, Aldgate in the East and Chancery Lane to the west.
"We're very excited about opening up The Cloud's Wi-Fi network in the City of London, so that everyone can get a daily dose of free Wi-Fi whilst they're out and about. People will find their smart-phones work much better on Wi-Fi than on their mobile phone network; no more waiting for apps to appear or photos to download, this is mobile broadband in its true sense! This initiative with the City of London reflects our broader ambitions to make London a fully Wi-Fi'd city."Naunton Dickins, (MD) The Cloud
Around 350,000 city workers and visitors are likely to be able to take advantage of the free usage and the company are expecting this to have an overwhelming appeal.
"In such a vibrant and fast-moving environment, the quality of the communications infrastructure is also of paramount importance."
When it was launched in 2007, City-wide Wi-Fi coverage significantly enhanced the Square Mile as a place to do business, providing substantial benefits not only for City workers but also for visitors and residents alike."Stuart Fraser, (Policy Chairman) City of London Corporation
With Boris Johnson, the London Mayor, talking of his wish for Wi-Fi to be available across London by 2012 it is good to see some improvements being made, particularly those which breed free access to help people get online cheaply. Plans for a 'London Wi-Fi City' have been fairly quiet since this initial announcement in 2008 so we may have to wait and see if these plans will be developed. With budget cuts all the rage at the moment, it could be this is another project that is cut.