BT Brings Wi-Fi To Olympic Park

Steve McCaskill is editor of TechWeekEurope and ChannelBiz. He joined
as a reporter in 2011 and covers all areas of IT, with a particular interest in telecommunications, mobile and networking, along with sports technology.

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BT will be the sole supplier of Wi-Fi to the Olympic Park during this summer’s Olympic and Paralympic Games

BT will be the sole provider of public Wi-Fi in the Olympic Park this summer, in what it claims will be the largest high density Wi-Fi venue deployment ever.

The telecommunications provider has also announced it is set to meet its target of having 500,000 Wi-Fi hotspots across London by the time that the Olympic Games begin in July.

High density

“BT will bring the internet right to the fingertips of spectators and visitors across London, so getting online during this busy period will be even easier,” said Andy Baker, CEO of BT Wi-Fi. “With the UK’s largest Wi-Fi network, BT is proud to be giving users the best-possible experience. BT has a proven track record of delivering the large-scale, reliable communications that London will need this summer.”

There will be 1,000 access points at nine Olympic venues, including the Olympic Stadium, Aquatics Centre, Veledrome and public areas of the Olympic park. BT says that the deployment will see more potential Wi-Fi users in any one place than any other event before.

“The 2012 Games will be a truly digital Games and this enhanced Wi-Fi coverage is giving people additional opportunities to get online, keep in touch and share their experiences during this exciting time,” commented Gerry Pennell, LOCOG chief information officer.

Free access

Access will be free for BT Broadband customers while millions of other smartphone users will apparently have use included in their contracts due to agreements with a number of UK and international network providers. Pre-paid Wi-Fi vouchers will also be available for those who are not covered by any such agreement.

“This is fantastic news for the millions of visitors coming to the capital to enjoy this incredible summer of sport but even better news for London’s businesses who will continue to reap the benefits of this boost to the city’s ever expanding digital infrastructure long after the Games are over,” added Boris Johnson, the Mayor of London.

Johnson had promised blanket Wi-Fi coverage across London ahead of the games amid fears that mobile networks will not be able to cope with demand. Other providers such as O2 have also launched a number of hotspots, while Ofcom has been loaned emergency spectrum by the Ministry of Defence to help serve the needs of security and emergency services.

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