Virgin Media Promises Free Tube Wi-Fi Until End of 2012

Steve McCaskill is editor of TechWeekEurope and ChannelBiz. He joined
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Free London Underground Wi-Fi for all until 2013

Virgin Media has confirmed that its Tube Wi-Fi service will remain free to use until the end of 2012.

From 2013, the network will remain free only for Virgin Media broadband and mobile customers, although the ISP is in talks with potential wholesale partners who could provide the service to their own customers.

The Virgin Media Wi-Fi portal, which offers Transport for London (TfL) travel updates and London news and entertainment, will still be open to everyone.

Free Tube Wi-Fi Continues

Wi-Fi on London Underground has been an incredible success with hundreds of thousands of people kept up-to-date and entertained whilst travelling around our capital city,” said Jon James, executive director of broadband at Virgin Media. “Commuters and visitors will be able to make use of the internet throughout 2012 and we’re in positive talks with potential wholesale partners to ensure a fantastic experience for all Tube passengers throughout 2012 and beyond.”

The service launched earlier this summer and has proved popular with commuters. Virgin Media said that on its busiest day yet, on 27 September, more than one million connections were made. It says that 661,000 people were using the network, with Waterloo, Victoria, Kings Cross and Oxford Circus the busiest stations in terms of connections.

There are 72 different Wi-Fi-enabled London Underground stations, with Virgin Media promising to add more by the end of 2012. Wireless Internet is available from the ticket halls to the platforms, although not on the trains themselves.

The Cloud has won a separate deal to provide Wi-Fi connections at all 56 stations on the London Overground network. Commuters receive 60 minutes of free Wi-Fi a day and the service is also free of charge.

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