Westminster city council launches free Wi-Fi network

Deal with 02 will see free unlimited Wi-Fi access made available in London’s West End

Westminster council has launched a free Wi-Fi service in the West End, which offers unlimited Wi-Fi to all users at no cost, regardless of their current provider.

The council said the network deal with 02 is the first of its kind, and hopes that it will save residents and visitors more than £1m.

It will initially cover Oxford Street, Regent Street, Trafalgar Square, Leicester Square, Piccadilly Circus and Parliament Square, but will be expanded to cover more areas of Westminster, with Covent Garden next in line to go live.

Backed by the mayor of London, Boris Johnson, Westminster council said that the service will remain free of charge to all users after the Olympics has finished. The free Wi-Fi will be compatible with all Wi-Fi enabled mobile smartphones, laptops and tablet devices.

Users will be able to access the service after completing a one-off registration process. The local authority said the network will allow visitors to London to share their pictures and updates of all the events, while keeping in touch with the latest news and travel updates.

Special local deals will also be featured on people’s devices, depending on where they are in the West End.

Councillor Philippa Roe, at Westminster city council, said: “This is a fantastic success for Westminster’s residents, businesses and the thousands of visitors we welcome daily. With London playing host to the greatest show on earth, O2 Wi-Fi is not only a valuable service for those who want to share photos, keep in touch and celebrate in the city, but rather a long term project to help make London one of the most technology friendly cities in the world.”

Boris Johnson said offering free Wi-Fi was a great way of showcasing the capital during the Olympic Games.

“With millions of extra people coming to town for the Games, we want to ensure we showcase the capital as the best city in the world to work and visit, and the addition of free Wi-Fi to some of our most popular landmarks is crucial in helping to maintaining that reputation,” he said.

The Wi-Fi announcement is part of a six-year deal Westminster council signed with 02 in January.

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