London 2012 fibre network a 'model' for UK

The Olympic Park fibre network and its links to 94 venues across the UK have been touted as the template for a high-speed national network

The London 2012 Olympic Games are set to turn the capital into a high-speed fibre network hub.

The Olympic Park network and its links to 94 venues across the UK could become the template for a high-speed national network, according to Guy Nicholson, the London Borough of Hackney councillor leading regeneration on the Games' east London site.

Speaking at a Westminster eForum event, Stuart Hill, vice president for the London 2012 delivery programme for BT, said the Olympic Park would be served by an "industrial-strength, fibre infrastructure" with 10,000 access points, linked by Ethernet to locations within the M25.

Hill said BT is contracted to make sure that as much of the infrastructure as possible in the Olympic Park and other UK venues can be used by future housing, schools, sports clubs or other buildings.

For the Games, BT is charged with delivering 4,500km of cabling, 14,000 mobile phones, 16,000 fixed-line handsets and 40 Olympic TV channels.

"We will need to be handling 6GB every second, the equivalent of 6,000 novels or the entire content of Wikipedia," Hill said.

"We will work with [the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games] post-2012 to make sure that we are adaptable and, if there is anything in the ground, we can reuse it later on," he added.

Hill cautioned that the idea for the Games is not to provide cutting-edge technology but rather a reliable infrastructure.

Nicholson said the benefits of the network will reach beyond London.

"The capital investment required to put this future network into place will add as much to Olympic Park as it will to the rest of the live sites across the UK," he said. "It becomes a model for a new network connecting up the cities and towns of Britain."

"The contribution that this will make to our national economy far outweighs what we are spending now," said Nicholson.

Hill said BT will be employing 650 people from across the UK to deliver the London Games telecommunications infrastructure.