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O2 creating Wi-Fi zone in central London
Friday 06 January 2012 13:06:30 by John Hunt

O2 are to deploy a wireless network across London in collaboration with Westminster and Kensington & Chelsea councils to provide free Wi-Fi to visitors and tourists. The network will be Europe's largest free Wi-Fi zone the company have claimed. O2 will install access points in street furniture such as on lamp posts across London with plans for it to be partially operational in time for the Queen's Diamond Jubilee celebrations in June.

"Westminster welcomes over a million tourists a day, is home to 250,000 residents, employs over half a million people and sees 4,000 business starts-ups each year."

Next summer's Olympic Games mean that London will be putting on the biggest show on earth and as Westminster has a starring role, visitors to London will easily be able to share their pictures and updates of the Olympic events across social networking sites.

Philippa Roe (Cabinet Member), Westminster City Council

There are clear benefits to rolling out wireless to a city which allows people to get information about the area, or just browse the 'net. O2 will benefit from pulling their users off their mobile broadband service, particularly in times of high demand, so users can get the best access possible. There have been various proposals to deploy wireless across London in the past, with Boris keen to support the cause.

"This ground-breaking deal – the first of its kind in the UK – will see us deliver high quality connectivity across London in time for London 2012. Our longer-term aim is to expand our footprint of O2 wifi, which is open to everyone, and also intelligently enhance our services at street level, where people need the network the most."

Derek McManus

Westminster announced their Wireless City project back in 2004 to deploy wireless across the city, and various other projects have been run. This includes The Cloud, now part of rival Sky, deploying a wireless network across the City of London, and Nokia running a Wi-Fi trial in Central London. By the time of the Olympics, we may find that London does have more Wi-Fi available, and hopefully this will remain and stay free after the Olympics, something O2 hope to keep.

Comments

Posted by asylum_seeker over 5 years ago
I bet P2P downloaders will be licking their lips...
Posted by hypertony over 5 years ago
This involves money to set them up. What does O2 get out of this? Do they sniff the network packets, and sell our details to 3rd party? How will this be funded? Bandwidth is not free...
Posted by Egg_ over 5 years ago
Another big fat freebee for the Londoners and foreigners.
That's O2 off my 2012 new suppliers list then.
Posted by nwilson101 over 4 years ago
This appears yet another false hope since as I live in Westminster in heart of city and the council have told me that so far nothing has been done.

Spoke to Press Office and they just laughed when asked what had been done. Elicited from them that they didn't know when it was going to be done and just laughed in my face again and 'couldn't care less'.

Council's technical people said might be up in 6months, which is 5months after Olympics closes

Thinkbroadband shd STOP false press releases as it's 3 yrs after previous wifi-for-London announcements-STILL nothing done!
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