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Major changes in the City’s road

network, notably at Aldgate and

Bank, are set to deliver a safer

and less polluted environment.

Bank junction is set to exclude

vehicles other than buses from the

heart of the City and will be

transformed over a 3 year period

to create a new pedestrian and

cycle friendly environment.

This will be complemented by

evolving initiatives and policies

to promote consolidation of freight

distribution in specific centres to

reduce the high volume of

deliveries across the City.

Works to Bank junction come

at a time when 27 Poultry is being

transformed into a luxury 280

bedroom hotel, ‘The Ned’, which

will also create 8 new restaurant

units to be run by Soho House,

opening in April 2017.

The character of the Bank junction

area will be further transformed by

the opening of the new Bloomberg

HQ at Walbrook where here will be

further 10 independent restaurants

transforming the Bank area into a

new culinary quarter.

The pace is quickening in the city

to ensure that every component

of the toolkit to maintain its

premier position as a financial

centre is in place.

Currently that means moving

rapidly to ensure that the Square

Mile has the essential telecom

infrastructure for both wireless

networks and fixed line broadband.

This year sees the launch of a

world class wireless network with

expanded and free WiFi and

Commercial Property Register

February - May 2017

www.compropregister.com

10

FEATURE

Square Mile

WELL CONNECTED

ROAD DANGER

reduction

PUTTING

ON THE

pressure

HAPPY

occupiers

It has taken continued lobbying

by the City of London to get BT

to upgrade the broadband to

deliver affordable superfast

broadband in the City where

they are delivering availability

of speeds of up to 80mbs

on their Openreach copper

network during 2017 to

over 5,000 premises.

BT Openreach has also recently

announced that they will be

delivering new affordable fibre

services to over 12,000 premises

in the Square Mile during 2017-18

delivering speeds of up to 1Gbps.

This is likely to be, in part, a

response to the myriad of new

alternative network providers

seeking to install affordable fibre

networks across London.

The pace of change is illustrated

by the evolving design of the

office, said Tom Leathart.

This is creating an entirely

different working environment,

whether it be the large offices with

their rest areas, feeding stations and

table tennis or the smaller scale

design of co-working and serviced

offices, which have proliferated

throughout the City in the past decade.

Leathart quoted the example of

We Work: “They have doubled their

footprint in London and all their

centres have waiting lists”. He added:

“They like the City because there is

substantial demand, helped by the

benefits they offer, such as developing

business communities, mentoring,

health insurance, banking and even

encouraging workers to bring their

pets to work, although this can bring

its own challenges in terms of

canine harmony”.

improved mobile coverage provided

by the state of the art equipment

giving gigabit speeds that the City

of London claims will surpass

similar networks in other financial

centres such as New York.

In addition to the new WiFi

network, 4G mobile coverage will

also see significant improvement

with over 400 small cells using

street furniture like lampposts,

street signs and CCTV columns.

Mark Boleat, Chairman of the City

of London Policy and Resources

Committee, said: “The Square Mile

is boosting its appeal through

initiatives such as this. The new

service will allow city workers to

become better connected than

ever before”.

An essential component of this

initiative is that the City of London

has brought together operators,

landlords and developers to create

a digital infrastructure ’toolkit’ that

can be used to speed up installation

of broadband, such as a new

standard wayleave, that has been

agreed by providers and property

owners and to date downloaded

2000 times.

Simon McGinn of the City of

London said: “We are looking to

complete research on the needs

of Fintech and other technology

focused industries to ensure

the Square Mile can provide the

optimum built environment to

support their needs”.

This means talking to them

about their issues and needs and,

in particular, about the provision

of accelerators for housing tech

businesses.

Like any part of London, the City

has to provide the right type of

space and environment for

business and it is worth noting that

the sharp rise in rents in Shoreditch

with the inflow of tech companies

has put them above rents in some

parts of the City which, it is hoped,

will become increasingly affordable

and attractive as a consequence

of competitive rents and world

class broadband infrastructure

which is soon to be supplemented

by Crossrail.