Ontix goes to market with superfast Wifi across Westminster

Ontix goes to market with superfast Wifi across Westminster

08 April 2021 | Alan Burkitt-Gray

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Ontix, tipped as one of the next companies to be acquired by the new Digital 9 Infrastructure company, is to build a fast Wifi network in central London.

The company is installing its systems to improve coverage in six street markets in the City of Westminster, the area of London that includes Trafalgar Square and the Houses of Parliament.

Barney Dickinson, COO of Ontix, said: “By quickly and efficiently deploying gigabit-performance wireless connectivity to these and other key areas, Ontix is playing a crucial role in enabling businesses, residents and visitors to stay connected, to keep trading, and to build vibrant, engaged and digitally inclusive communities going forward.”

Ontix installed a trial network in Trafalgar Square (pictured) almost three years ago. This week Thor Johnsen, head of the digital infrastructure team at Triple Point Investment Management, which set up Digital 9, named Ontix as likely to join its portfolio within a few months.

Digital 9 made its first infrastructure purchase last week — subsea company Aqua Comms, bought for US$215 million after Digital 9 completed a £300 million initial public offering of shares.

Ontix’s new Westminster Markets Wifi Network will cover six of central London’s markets, benefiting traders, customers and visitors.

It follows a 10-year partnership agreed with Westminster City Council in 2018, under which Ontix has been rolling out next-generation wireless services via street furniture across the borough, including its new Metrohaul neutral host backhaul network in Trafalgar Square, supporting 4G/5G, Wifi, broadband and Smart City technologies.

Debbie Jackson, the city council’s executive director for growth, planning and housing, said: “Businesses need an online presence more than ever and that includes market traders. By providing this next-generation Wifi service and securing digital connectivity, this will allow traders to reach a new and wider audience of customers.”

The project includes funds from the European Union, agreed while the UK was still a member of the EU. It is part of a project which is partly funded by the European Regional Development Fund, established by the EU.