Square Mile bosses act to secure superfast broadband for residents and SMEs
GUILDHALL bosses have stepped up their battle for better superfast broadband for residents and SMEs after complaints that ‘Big Telecom’ has not delivered for smaller users in the Square Mile district around St Paul’s.
The plan by Square Mile councillors comes after BT and others were seen to ignore the needs of smaller firms and residents who could not justify the £500 a month fees needed for dedicated first-class connection.
Mark Boleat, Policy Chairman of the City of London Corporation that looks after the Square Mile, said:
‘Residents and SMEs are fed up being ignored by ‘Big Telecom’ so we have acted. The 13,500 SMEs in the Square Mile employ many people, are vital energisers of the business environment and need superfast broadband at the right price to bring growth and jobs not just to the City but also to neighbouring areas.
‘This work could have been done by major suppliers themselves but their business with bigger firms is too easy for them and they are just ignoring the SMEs and residents. We will provide the infrastructure to help new suppliers come into the market.’
Part one of the project, already under way, is to map superfast fibre broadband demand building by building across the Square Mile then use this info to nudge fibre suppliers into providing connections that SMEs can afford.
Part two is a major upgrade to wireless voice and data services, using City Corporation street furniture and buildings for extra masts and connections – to help not just businesses but workers, residents and visitors in the Square Mile.
The building-by-building fibre survey of the Square Mile and a tender for a wireless service will both begin in January 2015.
The City of London Corporation, the elected body which runs the global business hub around St Paul’s, has been pushing hard to improve connectivity for SMEs who can’t justify the £500 a month needed for a big-league business connection, and for residents, too and has been working with BT to achieve this. More details and a video on the City Corporation’s work here.
Notes to editors
Bella Longman, Media Officer, City of London Corporation
Tel: 020 7332 1906 / Mobile: 07809 334 327
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: (1) 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 more than £15 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. (2) We also help look after key London 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. (3) And 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, research-driven policies all reflecting a long-term approach. See www.cityoflondon.gov.uk for more details.