Mobile phone company O2 will provide free internet to millions of residents and visitors to central London soon with the launch of the biggest free wifi network in Europe.
Don’t disconnect your router just yet, the details are still being ironed out with Westminster, Kensington and Chelsea borough councils before installation can begin on street level. London has been in the queue for a while for free city-level wifi (wireless broadband) after Paris and New York and if things go as planned, it should be up and working before summer hits and the Olympics come to town.
The network will be powered by a system installed on the street furniture and (good news for London residents) at no cost to the taxpayers. In response, one Westminster cabinet member said,
“Westminster welcomes over a million tourists a day, is home to 250,000 residents, employs over half a million people and sees 4,000 business starts-ups each year.
“Visitors to London will easily be able to share their pictures and updates of the Olympic events across social networking sites.”
With free wifi you can get people, more than ever, will be tweeting, FBing and sharing every moment of the Olympic Games and their London holiday moments on the web. But this won’t only effect the summer games, it’ll totally change how residents connect in the city (not like there is any shortage of wifi hotspots though). For travellers from abroad, you can stop worrying about racking up some hefty mobile roaming charges.
Both Paris and New York have installed several hundred free wifi zones in public squares and parks, London is only not catching up with the trend. This initiative is part of a major advancement in terms of internet access in the city of London. Isn’t it better to enjoy internet access from Hyde Park or in front of Big Ben than stuck in a Starbucks?
Travelling in Europe this summer? Find out how to find free wifi in Europe.