Deal extended following successful Olympic trial.
City workers, residents and visitors will soon get free wireless internet following a deal between the City of London and Wi-Fi internet provider The Cloud.
The deal comes after a successful trial during the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games that led to an almost 100 per cent increase in take up of wireless internet compared with the three months previous, according to The Cloud.
The City of London was converted into a single wireless hotspot in 2007 by The Cloud giving the area blanket, city-wide Wi-Fi coverage. However, the original deal only gave users 15 minutes of access before being made to pay for any subsequent usage. The new deal means that users can stay on the network for as long as they want and download as much as they want.
The hotspot covers 95 per cent of the Square Mile with wireless access points installed on street furniture such as street lighting poles and CCTV masts.
The Cloud also provides a content portal offering access to Sky News and Sky Sports News (The Cloud is a subsidiary of BskyB) as well as travel information including live TfL travel updates. The Cloud network also filters out adult content on its network.
Mark Boleat, Policy Chairman at the City of London Corporation said that the City of London has one of the biggest concentrations of smartphones in the UK.
“Having the best communications infrastructure in place to access vital information on the move is of critical importance,” said Boleat. “This partnership between the City of London Corporation and The Cloud will ensure that the Square Mile keeps pace with growing demand in a rapidly evolving technological landscape.”
Vince Russell, managing director of The Cloud, said that the success of the free wireless service during the London 2012 Games demonstrated that wireless internet was a “vital technology for visitors and shoppers as much as the City’s business community.”
He added: “We’re pleased we can now make it available to everyone, especially at a time when other providers are switching to pay-for-use services.”