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Last Mile wants to harness UK lampposts for wireless net

A UK-based company is planning to roll out high-speed wireless networks and location-based services using street lampposts, CNET News reported.

Last Mile Communications believes that city lampposts can be used to provide broadband Internet access, and also store useful information about their location.

Trials are scheduled for later this year at an undisclosed location, and Last Mile says it is confident that its service can be rolled out on a large scale.

While Last Mile’s service would turn lampposts into wireless access points that will provide access to the Internet, the company is thinking beyond just providing connectivity. It is planning to install flash memory inside the lampposts, and store information about local pubs, coffee shops and retail outlets.

According to Barry Shrier, Last Mile’s sales and marketing director, people who run an application called the MagicBook on a mobile device will be able to connect to their nearest enabled lamppost and access the information stored on it.

Last Mile is also hoping to win backing from the emergency services. For example, the precise layout of buildings could be stored on a lamppost — accessible by the fire brigade if they had to attend an emergency.

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