Free wifi coming to London Underground stations

By John Walton, March 16 2012
Free wifi coming to London Underground stations

Free wifi Internet is coming to the London Underground as the city gears up for the 2012 Olympics.

The high-speed wireless network, set up by Sir Richard Branson's Virgin Media, will go live before the Olympics start on 27 July.

Access will be free through to the end of the Olympics, when a paid system will take effect.

Subscribers to Virgin Media's home broadband service will have Tube wifi included with their plans but there's no word yet on whether smartphone users signed up with Virgin Mobile (including pre-paid plans which could prove popular with travellers) will also be able to log on.

Hotspots will be installed at 80 Tube stations by July, with 40 more stations coming online due by the end of the year.

That will still leave 150 Tube stations offline, but with many Underground stations outside of Central London not actually being underground, it's likely that most of these would currently enjoy mobile data reception anyway.

While the service will be useful for business travellers waiting on platforms to fire off email or download a map, network coverage will be limited to the railway stations rather than the tunnels themselves.

John Walton

Aviation journalist and travel columnist John took his first long-haul flight when he was eight weeks old and hasn't looked back since. Well, except when facing rearwards in business class.

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