Wi-Fi has lift off at London RAF base

BT delivers communications boost to RAF Northolt personnel

Servicemen and women at a London military base will be able to keep in contact with family and friends and conduct personal business more easily and quickly following the launch of a new high-speed wireless (wi-fi) network by BT today (Tuesday).

The 2,000 military and civilian personnel stationed at RAF Northolt, along with those visiting the base, will be able to work more flexibly as well as having access to a vital lifeline home.

Around 480 wireless access points have been installed to ensure coverage in offices, accommodation blocks and communal areas across the base, for both business and personal use. Business access is free for all users and public access is free for BT Broadband users, with monthly pay-as-you-go options also available.

The fibre infrastructure underpinning the wi-fi network is providing a modern, secure, and resilient network that enhances RAF Northolt’s capabilities for operational, commercial and welfare services. It will also allow the base to make year-on-year cost savings.

Group Captain Andy Bacon, Station Commander RAF Northolt said: “As we approach our centenary year here at RAF Northolt, we’re transforming the Station to support our 21st century needs. Our personnel are vital to our success and it’s critically important to me personally that we fully support them. Equally, RAF Northolt delivers a wide variety of military and cross-Government outputs. Clear communication channels are a key enabler for all that we do. Wi-fi for military, commercial and personal use is a step change and welcome way forward - we’ve saved money as well.”

Chet Patel, BT’s regional director for London, said: “We know how important staying connected is for people in their everyday lives, but it becomes even more important in this environment. BT is proud to be enabling our service personnel to become more operationally and personally effective through being better connected.”

As part of the contract, BT has also installed a public address system which uses the same infrastructure, enabling RAF Northolt to quickly communicate operational announcements across the whole base when necessary.