City switches on WiFi network

City switches on WiFi network

A WiFi network accessible by the 350,000 people who live and work in the Square Mile has been switched on by wireless broadband provider The Cloud and the City of London Corporation.

Live cutover to the network, powered by broadband mesh technology supplied by BelAir Networks, follows twelve months of development and testing. The Cloud and the City of London Corporation claim the facility creates Europe’s densest, most comprehensive city-wide WiFi network.

The network currently comprises 127 nodes and will evolve to offer 95% coverage across areas owned by the City of London Corporation. It has been designed and built onto existing street furniture including lamp posts and street signs.

The network allows anyone with WiFi-enabled devices including laptops, PDAs, media players and smart phones to log on to the Internet while on the move. Available as a subscription-based service, free access will be provided for the first month through a sponsorship deal struck with mobile phone operator Nokia.

Supported service providers include O2, BT Openzone, iPass, Truphone and Skype on various handsets.

In addition to its wholesale options, The Cloud also provides a range of unlimited access tariffs for consumers.

Michael Snyder, chairman of the City of London’s Policy Committee, says: "The City of London is the world's leading financial and business centre and has always benefited from a world class communications infrastructure. It is therefore important that we provide the latest technology that will benefit those working in or visiting the City."

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