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Virgin Media introduces UK's first smart Wi-Fi pavement in Chesham

Shoppers and workers alike will be able to benefit from superfast Wi-Fi speeds on Chesham high street thanks to a new trial scheme from Virgin Media (in conjunction with Chiltern District Council).

Indeed, the project will deliver unlimited Wi-Fi speeds of up to 166Mbps from Virgin's street cabinets, and also from right under people's feet with the UK's first 'Smart Wi-Fi Pavement'.

Yes, Wi-Fi access points will be literally bolted under paving slabs to ensure connectivity is delivered widely along the high street. Virgin notes that the pilot scheme will be available to all 21,000 residents and businesses of Chesham.

Ultrafast Wi-Fi speeds will be achieved at distances of up to 80m from a street cabinet, Virgin claims.

Gregor McNeil, Managing Director of Consumer at Virgin Media said: “Not only is this the first time we’ve built metropolitan Wi-Fi directly from our street cabinets, it is also the UK’s first deployment of a Wi-Fi connected pavement. It is literally public Wi-Fi under your feet. We want to build more networks like this across the UK and encourage more forward thinking councils just like Chesham to get in touch.”

Cllr Fred Wilson, Chiltern District Council’s Cabinet member for Customer Services and also a town councillor, added: "I am delighted that we’ve been able to bring a UK first to Chesham with Virgin Media’s ultrafast Wi-Fi, 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.”

Darren Allan
Darren Allan

Darran has over 25 years of experience in digital and magazine publishing as a writer and editor. He's also an author, having co-written a novel published by Little, Brown (Hachette UK). He currently writes news, features and buying guides for TechRadar, and occasionally other Future websites such as T3 or Creative Bloq and he's a copy editor for TechRadar Pro. Darrran has written for a large number of tech and gaming websites/magazines in the past, including Web User and ComputerActive. He has also worked at IDG Media, having been the Editor of PC Games Solutions and the Deputy Editor of PC Home.