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Mayor Sadiq Khan pledges full connectivity on London Underground

Alex Yau
August 10, 2017

Full internet connectivity will be made available in the London Underground tunnels

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has pledged to eliminate ‘not-spots’ in the London Underground tunnels through the installation of full mobile connectivity.

Khan made his commitment today (August 10) alongside the announcement of a ‘Not Spot Team’ who will work with local authorities to boost the reliability of broadband across the city. According to Khan, slow and unreliable broadband is still a major concern and source of frustration for capital which has over 40,000 digital businesses with 200,000 employees.

Full mobile coverage has been promised for the new Elizabeth Line, which will run from Reading to Heathrow, when it opens in December next year. Those travelling along the new Underground route will have full access to the internet, apps and emails in the train tunnels. All four UK mobile operators currently offer services allowing customers to connect to WiFi in the London Underground, but they only work in the stations and platforms, not the tunnels.

Khan said; “London is now a leading global tech hub, with thriving start-ups alongside major companies like Facebook, Amazon and Google.

“But our digital connectivity needs to be improved – internet connectivity is now a key public utility, and it is no surprise that some businesses see poor connectivity as a barrier to growth.

“If we are to remain competitive in the global economy, we need to ensure every Londoner is able to access a fast and reliable digital connection.

Global leadership

“That means working to boost connectivity across London – tackling not-spots, delivering connectivity in the London Underground and working with local authorities to provide digital infrastructure fitting of a global tech hub.”

BAI Communications has welcomed the Mayor’s pledge. The transport infrastructure specialist has already brought WiFi and mobile coverage to underground stations in Hong Kong and New York. BAI Communications UK CEO Billy D’Arcy said: “Boosting the city’s connectivity will inevitably deliver significant benefits to people who live and work in London, businesses, and the millions of visitors who pass through each year.

“It will provide enhanced productivity, increased digital inclusion, and help keep people digitally connected to friends and loved ones. It will also ensure that London keeps pace with other major global cities competing for inward investment.”

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