BT has revealed plans to set up a high-speed wireless broadband network across Westminster, London.
The company has reached a deal with Westminster City Council, making the area the first of an initial 12 areas earmarked by BT for the rollout of such services.
The area covered includes the West End and the area around the Houses of Parliament.
The City Council has signed an agreement with Vertex Data Science, which will work with BT to develop applications running over the wireless broadband network. In addition to the council’s service, BT will expand the network to offer extensive wireless broadband coverage in most areas of the city in the next couple of years.
BT has said it will introduce the first 12 Wireless Cities by the end of March 2007. Westminster is furthest advanced with its plans and rollout of the street-based network, following a successful pilot. The parts of the network that do not support council services will be funded by BT.
Steve Andrews, BT Group chief of mobility and convergence, said: “Westminster has been at the forefront of this project, and the City Council has enthusiastically grasped the benefits of a wireless city for the council, businesses community and residents. Flexible working will help them and their large mobile workforce to get the most out of the wireless network.
“The project is part of our strategy to ensure customers are always best connected, wherever they are and using whatever device they want. When we launch Wi-Fi phones for BT Fusion shortly, there will be whole areas of many cities where customers will be able to make calls and access their personal or business applications whilst on the move.”
There’s a Big Brother element to the plan, according to councilor Colin Barrow, of the Westminster City Council: “This will allow us to deliver our goals for community safety by supporting a more flexible and adaptable CCTV network.”
-Jonny Evans, Macworld.co.uk
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