City of London to get Wi-Fi coverage

The square mile comprising London's financial district will have saturated Wi-Fi access within the next six months, city officials announced Monday.

London's financial district -- known as The City -- will have saturated Wi-Fi access within six months, city officials announced Monday.

The City of London Corp. said it entered a partnership on Thursday with The Cloud Networks Ltd., a high-speed wireless network provider with operations in the U.K., Sweden and Germany. The network will be installed in existing "street furniture," including lamp posts and signs, within the area, which is about a square mile, the City authority said.

Demand has increased for wireless coverage as the City's 350,000 workers want access to the Internet and e-mail as they shuffle between meetings in different buildings in the district, a City spokeswoman said.

The Cloud won the bid for a contract to install the network, but the value of the deal has not been disclosed, a spokeswoman for The Cloud said.

The Cloud runs several Wi-Fi hotspots in London, such as at Canary Wharf, the British Library and Coffee Republic, a chain of cafés.

Operators such as BT Group PLC and Nintendo Co. Ltd. rent time on The Cloud's network, she said. Those operators in turn charge their customers for the service.

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