I thought it was pretty cool that when New York City announced that it would be turning some of its payphones into Wi-Fi hotspots, but small town in the United Kingdom is one-upping this project by literally building Wi-Fi into its pavement. That’s right, the British town of Chesham will be the first place in the world to use Smart Pavement, with help from Virgin Media, which will allow all 21,000 businesses and residents of Chesham to have access to up to 166MB/s wireless internet speeds just by being near sidewalks or streets.
Chiltern District Council and Virgin Media have joined forces to blanket Chesham’s high street with superfast WiFi. The unlimited WiFi service is available to residents, businesses and visitors passing through the centre of Chesham; the service even covers parts of Lowndes Park – Chesham’s 36 acre park space. The new network can provide speeds of up to 166Mbps, seven times the average UK broadband speed* and will be delivered using cutting edge technology with connectivity delivered directly from Virgin Media’s street cabinets and the UK’s first ever Smart Pavement. Users will easily be able to connect by selecting “Virgin Media WiFi” within the WiFi settings on their device. Virgin Media mobile customers with an Android device will be able access it seamlessly through the Virgin Media WiFi Buddy app. The pilot is available to all 21,000 residents and businesses of Chesham. Cllr Fred Wilson, Chiltern District Council’s Cabinet member for Customer Services and Chesham Town Councillor, said: “I am delighted that we’ve been able to bring a UK first to Chesham with Virgin Media’s ultrafast WiFi, helping local people and businesses get online. Efficient connectivity is pivotal to running businesses today and I am proud we are part of a project which is crossing new boundaries.”