In the sleepy town of Chesham, Bucks, pavements are leading the way to a better connected future. The very ground on which people walk now provides respectably fast Wi-Fi as they wander along.
Developed by the Virgin Media, a series of submerged access points have been installed around the centre of the town and the nearby 36-acre Lowndes Park. They all link to the provider’s street cabinets, which are connected to the local fibre network. The connection provides download speeds of up to 166Mbps, and is open to anyone walking nearby.
It’s not the first attempt to cover city streets with wifi: in New York for instance, old telephone boxes are being repurposed as Wi-Fi hubs, a scheme that Google is keen to roll out elsewhere. It is, though, the first time that we’re aware of where the infrastructure has been placed beneath the feet of pedestrians at any scale, making the whole thing feel even more invisible.
Virgin Media plans to roll the scheme out in other locations around the UK. [E&T]
Top image by Will Fuller under Creative Commons licence. Body image by Virgin Media.