By summer 2012, over 80 tube stations will be equipped with free, public access wi-fi from Virgin Media – with up to 40 more stations set to join them by the end of the year.
Initially all tube passengers will have free, unlimited wi-fi access, but after the July launch Virgin will cut the cost-free service back. From then only live travel information from Transport for London (TfL) will be provided free of charge.
Customers paying for Virgin Media’s broadband and mobile subscriptions will have full wi-fi internet access on the underground, and the service will eventually be available to pay-as-you-go customers.
To see how Virgin Media’s broadband packages compare with options from other big-name providers – including Sky, BT, TalkTalk, AOL, O2 and Orange – have a look at our broadband package reviews. The review lets you compare packages for the speed and reliability of connection, as well as customer service and value for money.
The timing of Virgin Media’s launch means that those travelling to London for the Olympic Games will also benefit from the service. Ian Merricks, CEO of Virgin Media, said:
‘With the eyes of the world on London this summer, we’ll be showing off our capital as a leading connected city on the global stage. We’re putting the power of Virgin Media’s fibre optic network in the hands of millions of Londoners, commuters and visitors and are delighted to be launching Wi-Fi for free throughout summer 2012 and beyond.’
The service will be available inside tube stations and on the platforms, but internet access won’t be available as you travel between stations on the tube.
Virgin Media’s announcement comes just over a week after Eurotunnel revealed it will provide wi-fi access in the Channel Tunnel. 2G and 3G systems will reportedly be installed in the tunnel in time for the Olympics. The France-UK tunnel will be covered by French operators and British operators will cover the UK-France tunnel after the Olympic Games.
- Which? Recommended Providers – compare results of our broadband provider satisfaction survey
- – how to find and use free public Wi-Fi hotspots
- Broadband usage calculator – find the best deals to match your usage