City of London to gain Gigabit Wi-Fi
If you visit the square mile as it is sometimes known you should be able to find free Wi-Fi coverage from The Cloud, but in the next few weeks we should find out who has been awarded a contract to supply Gigabit Wi-Fi utilising the numerous bits of street furniture.
"Fast and reliable digital connectivity is crucial for businesses and I’m really pleased the City of London Corporation is taking this significant step in improving speed and coverage in the Square Mile. The Mayor is committed to improving London’s connectivity, including tackling the capital’s ‘notspots’ and ensuring providers have better access to public-sector property for digital infrastructure."Deputy Mayor for Business, Rajesh Agrawal
The advantage of squeezing Wi-Fi kit into street furniture such as sign-posts is the majority already have a power feed for illumination of the sign, and while fibre to each bit of furniture is the ideal this can be avoided by using point to point wireless outside the normal Wi-Fi spectrum. Pushing towards Gigabit speeds means using the 5GHz Wi-Fi band which also means a greater density of access points is needed compared to older slower 2.4GHz standards.
The roll-out is due to start in late spring 2017 and we look forward to having a wander around the area once it is live to map out the speeds achieved and look at how well the new network handles things like peak time loads, which is likely to be different to the usual 4pm to midnight peak most consumer broadband experiences due to the massively different ratio of daytime workers to residents compared to most of the UK. The City Of London which is the financial heart of London, may have 10 million visitors per year and some 400,000 city workers but with a population around the 8,500 mark it has very few residents.