Ahead of this year’s Olympics, O2 has launched a new scheme to provide free wi-fi to certain London boroughs.
The operator has inked a deal with the Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea and Westminster City Council to roll out the wi-fi network to, well, Westminster and Kensington & Chelsea, unsurprisingly.
O2 claims the deal, which will allow visitors and residents to surf the net at no cost, represents the “largest free wireless hub in Europe”.
It isn’t coming at the expense of the taxpayer, either, so this isn’t a stealth wallet raiding of the residents in the area.
To begin with, O2 is rolling out the wi-fi service to a limited number of locations starting this month, with full coverage being deployed throughout the year on the run up to the Olympics.
Derek McManus, Chief Operating Officer for O2, enthused: “This groundbreaking deal – the first of its kind in the UK – will see us deliver high quality connectivity across London in time for London 2012.”
“Our longer-term aim is 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.”
Councillor Philippa Roe, Cabinet Member for Strategic Finance at Westminster City Council, further commented: “This is a landmark achievement for Westminster; Westminster welcomes over a million tourists a day, is home to 250,000 residents, employs over half a million people and sees 4,000 business starts-ups each year.”
“Next summer’s Olympic Games mean that London will be putting on the biggest show on earth and as Westminster has a starring role, visitors to London will easily be able to share their pictures and updates of the Olympic events across social networking sites.”