Islington Council and Cityspace completed the Technology Mile extension, a drive to bring council information and internet access to the borough

February 17, 2006

2 Min Read

LONDON -- Islington Council, together with technology partners Cityspace, today announce the completion of the Technology Mile extension, the second stage of the drive to deliver free council information and internet access to all across the borough.

“There is no doubt that as fast as technology is advancing, the digital divide is deepening, making the gap between the haves and have-nots a real concern for both public and private enterprise,” says Cllr Terry Stacy.

“The aim of expanding the Technology Mile along Holloway Road is to provide social inclusion for all our residents. Islington is a borough of socio-economic extremes; on one hand a wealth of restaurants and expensive shops, on the other, we are recognised as the sixth most deprived authority in the country – with free internet access for all the playing field is evened out.”

“Implementing the technology was the easy bit,” continues Cllr Stacy. “The challenge is in the outreach to residents unable to afford wireless kit who are in danger of being left behind.

“In this we are making great headway through piloting PCs to local businesses, cafes and bars so anyone can pop along and make use of the technology free of charge.”

The extension takes the Technology Mile a full 4km from the Angel along Upper Street and Holloway Road to the Odeon cinema. This structure creates ‘canyons of coverage’ where wireless transmitters are located on lampposts below the height of the buildings on either side of the street.

Further expansion is under consideration, specifically into some of the most deprived housing estates in the borough.

Usage figures are escalating with over 1,000 users per week accessing local information and the internet. In parallel, applications are already being explored by mobile workers and local businesses; one independent drycleaners has installed wireless CCTV to provide high quality, low cost security. Meanwhile the police are considering the installation of small wireless webcams in crime hotspots to enhance surveillance operations at little extra cost.

Funded by Islington Council in partnership with urban digital network providers, Cityspace, the Technology Mile supports the A1 Borough initiative and is set to help deliver on the council’s ‘One Islington’ vision for regeneration, sustainability, performance improvement and customer focus.

“The great pleasure about working with Islington Council is that they’re unstoppable!” comments Cityspace Managing Director, Gordon Willoughby.

“The Technology Mile has grown in parallel with the interest and enthusiasm of the Council. This is a highly progressive local authority with the vision and know how to embrace emerging technologies to deliver state-of-the-art, valuable services for the community.”

Cityspace Ltd.

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