Free Wi-Fi coming to London high streets

Residents in five areas of London are getting high-speed wireless internet access in busy high street locations.

Free Wi-Fi will soon be available in more public places around London, as plans for a new wireless broadband network get underway.

Making use of phone boxes, rooftops and other existing structures, the Wi-Fi hotspots will be positioned in busy high street locations across five London boroughs - Camden, Wandsworth, Hounslow, Islington and Hammersmith & Fulham.

The free Wi-Fi will give users unlimited browsing for up to 30 minutes per day. It is being provided by communications infrastructure company Arqiva in partnership with local authorities.

Wi-Fi hotspots will be switched on gradually over the next 12 months.

Nicholas Ott, managing director of government, mobile and enterprise at Arqiva, said: "More than 1.1 million residents, businesses and visitors to these areas will benefit from the fast connectivity we've all come to expect, wherever we are.

"It's a very exciting partnership, which will complement the other locations in London to deliver a truly unique user experience."

The plans were first reported in February, when Camden Council, which has led the initiative, said 16 of London's 33 boroughs were initially involved in a bidding process.

London's financial Square Mile already has a free Wi-Fi network. Operated by Sky-owned wireless provider The Cloud, it's used thousands of City workers every day.

There is also free Wi-Fi on the London Underground from Virgin Media, available at over 100 stations.

When it launched for last summer's Olympics, the service was free for all passengers, but is now only free for customers of Virgin Media, Vodafone and EE.

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