Commuters Turn To Tube Wi-Fi As London Strike Causes Travel Chaos

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Virgin Media reports an increase in London Tube Wi-Fi registrations but says number of devices falls by a third during strike

An insight into how the ongoing tube strike is affecting London’s commuters has been offered by Virgin Media, which says new registrations for its London Underground’s Wi-Fi network increased by a half yesterday (29 April)– the first full day of industrial action by members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) Union, which is due to end at 21:00 tonight.

The Wi-Fi network is free of charge for Virgin Media broadband users and customers of mobile operators EE, O2 and Vodafone, with everyone else able to access travel news or purchase a daily, weekly or monthly pass to access the service.

Tube Wi-Fi use

London-TubeVirgin Media says network traffic usually peaks at around 8.35am, but since passengers were having to take longer journeys than usual, traffic peaked at 8.50am as commuters sought to access travel information or inform colleagues and friends of their dire situation.

However, the number of devices connected to the tube Wi-Fi service actually fell by a third as many people opted to stay at home or use alternative modes of transport, such as bus, London Overground or National Rail.

Tube Wi-Fi, which extends from the ticket hall to the platform, is available at 137 stations on the capital’s subterranean railway network, with Virgin Media adding six more stations – Golders Green, Southgate, West Kensington, Parsons Green, Kilburn and East Putney – last week, with more to receive coverage by the end of the summer.

The Wi-Fi network has 800,000 registered users and handles one million user sessions each day, but despite the success of the service, there have been additional calls for mobile coverage to be added to the London Underground.

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