WIFI everywhere…one day
In the historic city of Chesham in Buckinghamshire, telecoms giant Virgin Media in collaboration with Chiltern Council have set up a “Smart Pavement” system with WI-FI connectivity hubs embedded within manholes and surrounding street furniture, a first for the UK. The system delivers publicly-accessible high speed broadband to locals, businesses and tourists when within the city centre, encompassing Chesham’s busy High Street as well as parts of the nearby Lowndes Park, and providing internet speeds of up to 166 Mbps, faster than what most people get in their homes. The network may be accessed by the public that are Virgin Media Mobile subscribers allowing them to effortlessly connect to the network through the use of a specially-designed App. According to Virgin Media, with a populace of 21,000 and counting, Chesham is the ideal size to test such a system before any future roll out across towns in the UK. Chesham is also ideal due to its pedestrianised city centre and a plethora of businesses to encourage use of the system. But it is not all business-focused, as the system is also useful to the local council, which has been looking to provide fresh approaches to enhancing the local area.