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Latest news
06
April
2017
|
15:39
Europe/Amsterdam

City of London invests in world-leading wireless network

The City of London Corporation has today announced a deal that will deliver a free, public access WiFi network, offering internet access anywhere within the Square Mile. The multi million pound project is one of the largest investments in wireless infrastructure ever seen in London.

Cornerstone Telecommunications Infrastructure Ltd (CTIL) has been awarded a major 15-year contract to roll-out and manage the City of London’s new wireless network in conjunction with O2. The new network will deliver wireless services across all mobile networks for City businesses, residents and visitors.

CTIL will build 4G mobile “small cells”, which will be housed on City street furniture such as lampposts, street signs, buildings and CCTV columns to provide enhanced mobile coverage at street level, and ensure that the City is best placed to become an early adopter of 5G which is widely expected to become available in 2020.

CTIL will partner with O2 in building the WiFi network which will be free for the public to use. The project will replace the current service provided by The Cloud and will be fully operational by Autumn 2017.

The network will be more technically advanced than those found in other leading global financial centres, including New York. State-of-the-art equipment will provide speeds and see users able to enjoy high bandwidth services like video-calling and video on demand over free City WiFi following a one-time only registration.

Mark Boleat, Chairman of the City of London Corporation’s Policy and Resources Committee said:

“Free, reliable, high-speed wireless internet is a must for any modern, competitive financial centre. That is why I am thrilled to have CTIL deliver this essential project for the Square Mile.

“Soon, residents, visitors and workers in the City will be able to enjoy uninterrupted wireless connectivity, and this project should ensure that wireless ‘black spots’ in the Square Mile become a thing of the past.

Derek McManus, Chief Operating Officer, O2 said:

Continued investment in infrastructure is essential to maintain the UK’s reputation as a digital leader.

Connectivity plays a central role in supporting the future growth of our economy, enabling us to communicate and trade more easily, attracting overseas business and creating new jobs.

In fact, our own research tells us that an effective rollout of 5G connectivity will add over £7 billion a year to the economy by 2026.  

“That’s why we’re proud to be partnering with the City of London Corporation and CTIL to provide a network that will help London retain its position as a leading global financial centre.”

Malcolm Collins, Managing Director, CTIL, said:

"This is an exciting opportunity for us to work together to lead the roll out of next generation wireless technology.

“Small cells will be key as operators look to support the growing needs of customers.

“We will offer an innovative wholesale solution that will enable them to do so efficiently and effectively."

Notes to editors

In addition, the City of London has launched a campaign that will bring affordable gigabit broadband connectivity to the Square Mile and has provided additional resource to:

  1. Identify unserved areas in the Square Mile and disseminate to fibre providers.

  2. Encourage investment from fibre providers in providing gigabit broadband at an affordable price point.

  3. Engage landlords and tenants to undertake demand stimulation understand requirements and encourage take up.

  4. Understand and seek to overcome barriers to investment.

  5. Support broadband providers who have roll out plans in 2017-18 (BT Openreach will aim to

  6. The City of London Corporation launched a new standardised legal document in July 2016 which will speed up the process for businesses to get superfast broadband. By working with London’s main developers, landlords, broadband operators, , property managers, Government, legal firms and key trade associations set of tools were produced which make it easier and faster to agree digital connections.

  7. A key element is a standardised legal agreement - known as a wayleave. Previously, business tenants faced long negotiations with providers to agree new wayleaves from scratch each time they wanted to get broadband fibre installed. Previously, business tenants faced long negotiations with providers to agree new wayleaves from scratch each time they wanted to get broadband fibre installed. The toolkit can be found here.

About the City of London Corporation

The City of London Corporation provides local government and policing services for the financial and commercial heart of Britain, the 'Square Mile'. In addition, the City Corporation has three roles:

  • We support London’s communities by working in partnership with neighbouring boroughs on economic regeneration, education and skills projects. In addition, the City of London Corporation’s charity City Bridge Trust makes grants of around £20 million annually to charitable projects across London and we also support education with three independent schools, three City Academies, a primary school and the world-renowned Guildhall School of Music and Drama.
  • We also help look after key London’s heritage and green spaces including Tower Bridge, Museum of London, Barbican Arts Centre, City gardens, Hampstead Heath, Epping Forest, Burnham Beeches, and important ‘commons’ in south London.
  • We also support and promote the ‘City’ as a world-leading financial and business hub, with outward and inward business delegations, high-profile civic events and research-driven policies all reflecting a long-term approach.

See www.cityoflondon.gov.uk for more details.