Virgin Media considers wi-fi network accessVirgin Media may roll out public wi-f hotspots

24 November 2010

Virgin Media public Wi-Fi hotspots?

Virgin Media may offer broadband customers wi-fi hotspot access

Virgin Media is exploring plans to use its superfast cable broadband network to create public wi-fi hotspots which would rival BT's Openzone wi-fi network. 

According to reports in The Telegraph today Virgin Media is considering copying US company Cablevision which has rolled out public wi-fi hotspots in New York. 

Which? contacted Virgin Media to find out more. The broadband giant told us that it is actively exploring opportunities around wi-fi and speaking to a number of organisations, including local authorities, with a view to seeing how it can provide great connectivity outside the home for laptops and smartphones. 

If you like the idea of wi-fi internet access when you're out and about, find out more about how and where to find wi-fi access points in the free Which? guide to wi-fi hotspots. 

Virgin wi-fi access

The new service would work by placing broadband routers in secure public locations and connecting them to the Virgin network. Virgin's director of advanced technology Kevin Baughan told the Telegraph that the service is expected to offer 5Mbps speeds compared to BT's Openzone, which offers up to 8Mbps but only if you stick close to one of its 3900 hubs. 

According to the report Virgin is considering making the service available free of charge to its home broadband and Virgin Mobile customers, with the general public able to access it on a pay-as-you go or subscription basis. 

More and more people are accessing the internet on the go, so Which? is pleased that most current laptops we test include built-in wireless connectivity. Our guide to how to buy the best laptop tells you what else you should be looking out for before you buy.

Then take a look at Which? laptop reviews to find out if your chosen laptop includes wireless connectivity.

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