Mobile phone company O2 is to create Europe’s largest free WiFi zone in the heart of London.
A deal between the network operator, Westminster Council and the Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea will give residents and visitors to the boroughs free internet access on smartphones, computers and tablets.
O2 says the deal has no cost to the taxpayer.
Chief Operating Officer Derek McManus said the company aimed “to expand our footprint of O2 Wifi, which is open to everyone, and also intelligently enhance our services at street level, where people need the network the most.”
Work to install the WiFi network will start this month and the necessary equipment will be fitted to existing street furniture.
The service will initially be rolled out in a limited number of areas and then throughout the boroughs over the longer term.
Cllr Philippa Roe from Westminster City Council said the deal meant “visitors to London will easily be able to share their pictures and updates of the Olympic events across social networking sites.”
Nicholas Paget-Brown, Kensington & Chelsea’s Cabinet Member for Environment, said: “I am very pleased that we have been able to come to this agreement and we look forward to working with O2.
“Residents and visitors having free access to the latest mobile technology will help us to continue to offer value for money for residents.”