Free Wi-Fi of city’s streets
Kiosks offering digital services will replace BT phone boxes
WI-FI points which sparked controversy in New York because people were using them for porn are going to be erected in London.
Londoners can expect free public Wi-Fi, phone calls and other digital services including built-in tablets following a partnership scheme between BT and American company, Intersection.
The LinkUK kiosks will give people the chance to connect to WiFi on the move with speeds of up to 1Gbps, the fastest free public WiFi service available, BT said.
But the kiosks stirred controversy when they were introduced in New York earlier this year by Link NYC.
The company was forced to adjust the web browsing on its tablets because people, including children and the homeless, were using them to watch porn, according to the New York Post.
The new kiosk will replace hundreds of BT’s existing phone boxes across the capital, and will also feature sensors that can provide data on air and noise pollution, temperature and traffic.
Rajesh Agrawal, London’s deputy mayor for business, said: “I welcome this exciting new addition to London’s streets.
“Expanding London’s digital infrastructure is a priority for the Mayor, and LinkUK can play a big part in improving connectivity for Londoners and visitors to our city, while reducing street clutter by upgrading and reducing the number of phone boxes.
“I look forward to working with BT, Intersection and Primesight to see how we can roll LinkUK across the capital, and to explore its future potential.
“London is already widely regarded as one of the technological capitals of the world but the Mayor is determined to improve connectivity across the city to ensure we maintain that position.”
Up to 100 of the kiosks will be installed in Camden, with the first to appear in 2017, before a further 750 are introduced across London and other major UK cities.
BT has said the kiosks coming to London will not feature web browsing facilities that would allow people to watch pornography.