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Workers, residents and visitors to London’s Square Mile are to gain access to unlimited free wireless broadband services, it has been announced.

The City of London Corporation has extended its partnership with The Cloud - the high-street Wi-Fi provider - meaning there will be universal coverage across the capital's financial centre.

A temporary arrangement to provide free, unlimited Wi-Fi during the Olympic and Paralympic Games has proved so popular that the deal is now being made permanent.

The Cloud was the first public Wi-Fi provider in the UK to provide blanket, city-wide coverage when it first converted the Square Mile into a single Wi-Fi hotspot in 2007.

Until now, the network has been available to anyone for 15 minutes, before moving to paid-for access.

Mark Boleat, Policy Chairman at the City of London Corporation, explained that the Square Mile is home to 10,000 residents, 400,000 workers, and five million visitors a year.

"As the world’s leading global financial and business centre, the City of London has one of the biggest concentrations of smartphones in the UK so having the best communications infrastructure in place to access vital information on the move is of critical importance," he stated.

"This partnership between the City of London Corporation and The Cloud will ensure the Square Mile keeps pace with growing demand in a rapidly evolving technological landscape.”

Vince Russell, Managing Director of The Cloud, said demand for fast, reliable Wi-Fi "constantly increases".

Usage on his firm's UK network has doubled in the last 12 months, he noted.

"The success of our free Wi-Fi service during the Olympics and Paralympics demonstrated that it’s a vital technology for visitors and shoppers as much as the City’s business community," Mr Russell said.

"So we’re pleased we can now make it available to everyone, especially at a time when other providers are switching to pay-for-use services."

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