The Olympics has resulted in a Wi-Fi bonanza in London, with a vast array of hotspots offering coverage, Telecoms companies have rushed to make London as Wi-Fi crammed as possible in time for the Olympics.
BT has added more than 100 hotspots along the Thames, bringing its total number of Wi-Fi access points in the captial to 500,000.
The Wi-Fi access points have been installed along a 27-mile stretch of the Thames on piers, and have been operational since just before the Games. The hotspots, which cost visitors £5.99 for 90 minutes or £10 for a day, are located at popular tourist sites such as the London Eye and the Cutty Sark in Greenwich.
BT has exclusive control of Wi-Fi at the Olympic Park, with a Wi-Fi deployment of more than 1,000 access points at venues such as the Olympic Stadium, the Aquatics Centre, and the Velodrome. BT has set up a 27-mile stretch of Wi-Fi access points along the River Thames. There is no free Wi-Fi in the Olympic Park, and there are restrictions in place for people setting up and using their own Wi-Fi access points.
Other providers are also offering free Wi-Fi access during the Games.
O2 turned on its free ad-supported Wi-Fi in the West End on 25 July, with access offered in Parliament Square, Leicester Square, Piccadilly Circus, Trafalgar Square, Oxford Street and Regent Street.
Virgin Media has rolled out free Wi-Fi at around 73 London Underground stations. The service has proven popular since the first day of the Games, with 43,932 Tube passengers having registered for the service since Friday 27 July, and 2.7 million online sessions delivered. Other providers, including The Cloud and BT Fon, also offer free Wi-Fi in retail locations across London.
UK telecoms operators have raced to upgrade their infrastructure around London following concerns that the huge additional demand caused by the Olympics would cause outages or slowdowns. So far the capital’s broadband infrastructure seems to be coping with the strain.