City of London rolls out ‘fastest free UK Wi-Fi’
Written by: Philip Mason | Published:

The City of London Corporation has launched its new gigabit Wi-Fi network, serving residents, workers and visitors to the Square Mile.

According to the corporation, the system will provide the fastest free Wi-Fi in the UK, with user speeds ranging from 50 to 180 megabits per second. This is up to ten times faster than that which has previously been available across the City of London.

Over 150 access points have been installed throughout the location, using a mixture of pre-existing street furniture and bespoke structures, the latter which are deliberately designed to be unobtrusive.

Operated by O2 in partnership with Cornerstone Technology Infrastructure as part of a 15 year contract, the network will require a one-time only registration.

Speaking of the deployment, policy chairman at the City of London Corporation, Catherine McGuinness said: “As a global financial centre we provide services for a diverse range of City occupiers.

“With nearly 99 per cent of firms in the city consisting of SMEs, and eight per cent of the workforce situated in the technology, media and telecommunications industry, it is vital that our digital services match the fast-paced needs of our workers.”

Derek McManus, chief operating officer at O2 said: “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.”

The product of numerous partnerships, the network’s neutral host backhaul is provided by CCS, built on the company’s Metnet system. In a statement, the City described this as “the world’s only self-organising 5G microwave backhaul, operating in the licensed area-based 28GHz band.”

The network was built in a mere 28 weeks with input from Virgin Media, UK Power Networks as well as the corporation’s highways contractor, J B Riney & Co Ltd.

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