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April Fool: Free WiFi for London: Crystal Palace transmitter being moved to the City

The London skyline will be changing dramatically very soon, thanks to a new plan by Mayor Boris Johnson to move the Crystal Place television mast to the City of London, as part of a scheme to offer Londoners free WiFi.


The movement of the mast, which transmitted the first colour TV broadcasts, coincides with the Digital Switchover in April. Instead of being left redundant, it will now be dismantled and rebuilt near St Paul’s Cathedral.

According to our sister website Recombu Digital, the Mayor’s office believes that the plan will avoid a planning enquiry because the former Crystal Palace mast (dubbed Johnson’s Needle) is more than 80 per cent air.

Controversial as this move may be, it means the majority of residents within the M25 will benefit from free WiFi, with 100Mb/s download speeds. Although the mast’s large shadow means residents of Croydon or Sutton will miss out.

Johnson described the transmitter as a ‘modern counterpart’ to St Pauls Cathedral: “I want the people of London, big and little, to have no doubt how much I have enjoyed being their Mayor, when I return to appearing on Have I Got News For You after the election.”

So how is Johnson’s Needle being funded? A tax on small cars and a five per cent rise in bus, tube and
rail fares. Is it worth it for free WiFi?  Let us know below or via Facebook and Twitter.

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