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London invests £10 million in fibre optics using Tube tunnel

Large areas of London are set to be upgraded from copper cables to full fibre optics using the Tube network and public buildings, thanks to a £10 million investment launched by the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan. The plans represent the largest investment in connectivity City Hall has ever made.

Fibre optic cabling will be laid along TfL tunnels to create a ‘fibre backbone’ across London. The investment will cover the installation costs of linking these fibre optic cables to public buildings, such as community centres and libraries.

The work will also reduce the cost to providers of laying cabling between the public buildings and Londoners’ homes and businesses. This will particularly benefit areas with little or no existing fibre, which had previously deemed financially unviable and which suffered from poor connectivity as a result.

More local fibre will also pave the way for next-generation 5G mobile connectivity, which requires an extensive full fibre network. 

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “London’s future digital connectivity will be built on fibre. High-speed connectivity is crucial for businesses of all sizes and sectors, not to mention Londoners accessing digital services at home and around the city.

Chief Technology Officer at TfL, Shashi Verma, said: “We’re delighted that we can help increase connectivity across the city by using the London Underground to help provide better broadband internet”.

This is a major step towards rolling out 5G and full fibre across London. In order to keep up with international competitors, the Mayor’s new London plan proposes policies with the expectation that new developments London will include full fibre connectivity all the way to the home.