London's Soho to get blanket 802.11 coverage

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London's City of Westminster Council is to bring 802.11b wireless networking to the streets of Soho. The scheme, dubbed the Westminster 4G project, will initially provide Wi-Fi connectivity for council operatives and remote systems. But in a direct challenge to ISPs and the UK's wired and mobile telcos, the Conservative-led Council plans to extend the network to provide data and voice services to the public.

Westminster 4G, due to be rolled out next month, will see a number of "smart boxes" installed throughout the Soho district of central London. Greek Street, Old Compton Street and Dean Street will be among the first to be given blanket Wi-Fi coverage, project leader and West End ward councillor Ian Wilder told The Register.

New York City embarked on a similar scheme last year when it rolled out Wi-Fi acces in the Bryant Park area and other zones. The Westminster plan will allow parking meter attendants, cleaners, noise inspectors and other council workers to access council systems via 802.11-equipped handheld terminals in real-time, in the field.

View: Article @ The Register

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