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London Mayor and TfL plan to bring mobile coverage to the Tube

Friday, August 11th 2017 by Phil Wilkinson-Jones

The Mayor of London has announced a crackdown on mobile not-spots in London – including a plan to bring connectivity to the Tube.

Sadiq Khan is putting together a troubleshooting ‘Not Spot Team’ that will work with local authorities and providers to find connectivity solutions in problem areas.

He is also organising a City Hall summit – the Digital Connectivity Funding Forum – to help London boroughs apply for infrastructure funding and share ideas on best practice.

Transport for London is also working to bring mobile coverage to the London Underground.

Many Tube stations already have wi-fi coverage but only on platforms and not the tunnels between them.

The new Elizabeth Line will have continuous phone coverage and internet access when it launches in December 2018, and the target is reportedly for other lines to start getting coverage in 2019.

Mr Khan said: “London is now a leading global tech hub, with thriving start-ups alongside major companies like Facebook, Amazon and Google.

“But our digital connectivity needs to be improved – internet connectivity is now a key public utility, and it is no surprise that some businesses see poor connectivity as a barrier to growth.

'Fast and reliable'

“If we are to remain competitive in the global economy, we need to ensure every Londoner is able to access a fast and reliable digital connection.

“That means working to boost connectivity across London – tackling not-spots, delivering connectivity in the London Underground and working with local authorities to provide digital infrastructure fitting of a global tech hub.”

David Leam, infrastructure director at campaign group London First, said: “Business needs fast and reliable connections across our capital – in the office, for people working from home and when they’re on the move.

“We should be making the most of existing infrastructure, including the London Underground network, to boost speeds and deliver coverage to areas that have been left behind.

“But we also need London’s planners to get behind this work, otherwise our digital ambitions risk being strangled by red tape.”

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