City of London businesses fight for superfast broadband » SMEInsider

City of London businesses fight for superfast broadband

It is one of the most famous business districts in the world, but London’s city Square Mile lags behind when it comes to up-to-date internet technology.

SMEs and residents in the area  say that major providers such as BT have ignored their pleas for improved internet access, instead demanding an unreasonable £500 per month for dedicated, high speed connections.

However, local councillors and the City of London Corporation, which looks after the Square Mile including the SME business hub around St. Paul’s, say that they now hope to bring the frustrations of slow broadband to an end.

Residents and SMEs are fed up being ignored by ‘Big Telecom’ so we have acted. The 13,500 SMEs in the Square Mile employ many people, are vital energisers of the business environment and need superfast broadband at the right price to bring growth and jobs not just to the City but also to neighbouring areas,” said Mark Boleat, Policy Chairman of the City of London Corporation.

“This work could have been done by major suppliers themselves but their business with bigger firms is too easy for them and they are just ignoring the SMEs and residents. We will provide the infrastructure to help new suppliers come into the market.”

City Corporation says that it has already begun preparations to map building-by-building demand for superfast broadband in the area. They will then use their findings to put pressure on fibre suppliers to install connections that people in these areas can actually afford.

The second stage of the project will be to undergo a “major upgrade” to wireless voice and data services. This, says City Corporation, will use existing “street furniture” and buildings to create additional masts and connections. A contract for the wireless service will be put to tender in January.