Free wi-fi has long been available in London’s parks, and more recently some of our iconic red phone booths have become hot spots for ultrafast connectivity. So, if connectivity whilst travelling on foot isn’t a problem, what about on public transport?
Londoners spend an average of 84 minutes per day commuting. Better connectivity could make the daily commute easier, increase productivity and make London a more attractive place for investment. But, perhaps less discussed is the fact that connectivity could also bring about a number of behavioural changes to help address some of the capital’s biggest issues, from housing to mental health.
Results from a recent research report by one of our members, BAI Communications, reiterate the importance of connectivity and also highlight the impact it could have on life in the capital. The Continuous Connectivity survey of 2,538 people in five cities, including London, shows that as technology evolves, public transport should provide digital as well as physical connections to offer passengers more than just a way of getting from A to B.
Nearly 4 in 10 (39%) of London respondents said better connectivity could impact their housing situation, for example enabling them to move further out of the city or to somewhere bigger with a longer commute. This could help provide commuters with more options for where they live, opening up the possibility of flexible working and more productive journeys, whether they be inside the city or across the sprawling suburbs. It could also mean that a longer commute wouldn’t necessarily equate to more hours wasted on the train.
Connectivity could also lead to more opportunities for professional development, according to the survey. Nearly 60% of London respondents said better connectivity on transport would lead to changes in working hours, while 41% said that it would directly lead to career improvements: for example, by creating the time and space for them to complete self-improvement courses or distance learning. This highlights that connectivity can play a role in unlocking Londoners’ productivity in and out of the office.
London is a city that cannot afford to be complacent — it has many advantages but needs to keep one step ahead of the competition. This is essential if London wants to maintain its place ahead of Berlin and Paris as the go-to destination for tech in Europe, now and in the future.
Travelling is a vital part of our modern, connected lives. Improving mobile connectivity on transport will not only help deliver for the daily commute – but for the wider health of the city and its residents too. Better connectivity will help cement London’s place as a world-class city.
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