By Claire West
BT, the official communications services partner of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games is on track to meet its commitment to have 500,000 wi-fi hotspots across the capital in time for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
The company has also confirmed it will be the sole provider of public wi-fi on the Olympic Park.
BT already has more than 475,000 hotspots in Greater London made up of thousands of independent businesses and homes, plus outdoor hotspots across Westminster. More wi-fi access is good news for commuters who have been urged to work flexibly or remotely to ease congestion and keep London moving during the Games.
The Olympic Park will be the largest high density wi-fi venue deployment ever and will see more potential wi-fi users in any one place, than any other event before. BT Wi-fi will complement 3G networks and allow users to download and upload as much data as they like without the worry of going over their data allowance on their mobile contract.
BT is installing an extensive high-density, wi-fi infrastructure, with nearly 1,000 access points across nine Olympic venues including the Olympic Stadium, the Aquatics Centre and Velodrome, plus access across all the public areas of the Olympic Park in east London.
The capital is set to be buzzing this summer with millions of spectators travelling around London. Record numbers of people are expected to use handheld devices and smartphones to call, send emails, texts, tweets and use the internet on the move.
BT has cemented its position as the provider of the biggest wi-fi network in the UK, with over four million hotspots, adding more than 600,000 in the last 6 months.
Boris Johnson, The Mayor of London, said: "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."
Andy Baker, CEO, BT Wi-fi, said: "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. 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."
Gerry Pennell, LOCOG Chief Information Officer, said: '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."
Access is free for BT broadband customers and included in contracts for millions of Android, iOS and other smartphone devices through BT agreements with UK and international network providers. Customers should contact their provider for information. Pre-paid wi-fi vouchers will also be available to buy online for access at any of BT's over four million UK hotspots including the Olympic Park.
BT made a commitment to boost the number of hotspots in London ahead of the Games last September. For more information visit www.bt.com/freewifi .