Camden could soon be home to 100 free superfast Wi-Fi terminals
- Credit: Archant
Up to 100 free superfast Wi-Fi terminals could be coming to Camden in a London first as BT looks to revolutionise its phone boxes.
The LinkUK project – a partnership between BT, media firm Intersection and advertisers Primesight – will arrive in the borough’s streets next year if planning permission is granted.
Available to hundreds of users at a time, the terminals – which are funded by advertising – offer internet speeds of up to 1Gps, free phone calls, mobile charging, access to local services like maps and two 55in HD digital displays.
Cllr Theo Blackwell, Camden Council’s member for finance, technology and growth, said: “The plans for Link kiosks submitted by LinkUK from BT represent a really exciting step forward.
“Camden Council wants to improve digital connectivity and be at the forefront of change.”
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He added: “If approved, it will mean that Camden is the first council in the UK to host these innovative services.”
The terminals will also feature sensors capable of capturing real-time environmental data such as air pollution, temperature and traffic levels.
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The only place the terminals have been trialled is New York City, where they were rolled out at the end of 2015.
In September of this year, a filtering system was introduced after reports of users watching pornography in the street.
But Rajesh Agrawal, London deputy mayor for business, is primarily concerned with “expanding London’s digital infrastructure”.
“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,” he said.
The terminals are also expected to remove clutter thanks to their small, sleek design.
Gerry McQuade, CEO for BT Wholesale and Ventures, said LinkUK coming to Camden represents a transformation of the “look and functionality” of payphones.
He said: “We’re evolving the phone box to make it relevant in the 21st century by offering people ultrafast Wi-Fi and a range of digital and information services entirely for free.”