Connectivity no longer a barrier: Boost for Thames Wi-Fi network

Wi-Fi will flood the River Thames in London now that 100 new access points have been introduced.

An outdoor Wi-Fi network along the River Thames in London has received a signal boost with a set of new transmitters on piers and boats.

Wi-Fi network supplier Global Reach Technology deployed 100 Ruckus wireless access points along a 27-mile stretch of the Thames--between Woolwich in the east and Putney in the west--to form a mesh network .

The access points will be within reach of offices, homes, tourist attractions, bars, and restaurants, and provide reliable data access in densely trafficked areas for up to 30 million people each year.

Global Reach CEO Nigel Wesley told ZDNet: "This is one continuous hot zone that can be thought of as one huge hot spot covering many, many miles of outdoor coverage."

The general public will be able to use the free Wi-Fi across the whole network, said Wesley, while other data services will also be run across the network where critical information is required by local businesses.

The network is already being used by Transport for London (TfL) for private services, such as real-time location-based information, tracking boats, network monitoring, timetables, CCTV surveillance, and other services.

The service should deliver internet speeds of a couple of megabytes per second (Mbps), making them similar to those offered through Virgin Media's Wi-Fi network for the London Underground , according to Wesley.

Global Reach will also use Ruckus access points in Leeds and Bradford to deliver Wi-Fi for Virgin Media Business customers as part of the government's super-connected cities initiative.


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