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Bristol and Manchester announce wireless network plans

In the last week both Bristol and Manchester, both finalists in the government’s £7 mn. Digital Challenge, have announced wireless network plans.

Firstly, in Bristol Cityspace, one of the country’s leading providers of urban digital networks, and the operator of the city centre StreetNet network, announced its selection as Bristol City Council’s preferred partner for a major expansion of the existing 3 km long StreetNet wireless network originally deployed as a pilot by Cityspace in 2004. The Connecting Bristol blog also reports that Cityspace is keen to work with Bristol Wireless on the network expansion.

Full details are available in the press release.

Meanwhile up in Manchester on 1st December, the City Council issued a Request for Information & Comment as the first step in plans to launch a broadband wireless network over Manchester that the Council hopes will eventually cover an area of up to 400 square miles and 2.2 million people. If fully implemented, the network would cover 90% of the Greater Manchester area and be the largest single city broadband wireless area in Europe. In addition, it would be as large as all other city-based wireless networks in the UK put together and encompass not only central Manchester, but also include surrounding boroughs such as Salford and Tameside.

More details of Manchester’s plans can be found on the ONE-Manchester blog.