Today sees the beginning of Virgin Media’s campaign to install free WiFi in nearly 80 Tube Stations ready for London 2012 in late July with Warren Street and King’s Cross underground stations being the first on the list.
This is the start of a scheme which should finish before the end of the year and supply over 120 stations with access to the World Wide Web.
Once connected commuters can sign up using an e-mail address and with Oxford Circus, Green Park, Victoria and Euston’s hotspots up and running by Saturday people using the Victoria line should be particularly pleased.
Latest TFL updates, daily TimeOut recommendations, exclusive Spotify playlists and trailers from MyMovies.net are all part of the service and will remain free for the foreseeable future.
By the end of the summer, surfers looking to continue to browse the internet whilst minding the gap must top-up on a ‘Pay As You Go’ basis with Virgin, although packages for Virgin Media customers and certain mobile networks will be available.
Mayor – and regular ‘Have I Got News For You’ host – Boris Johnson describes the internet update to the world’s oldest underground train network as ‘critical’ and a ‘tremendous benefit’.
But those dreaming of passing a stuffy tube journey by catching up with BBC iPlayer should be forewarned that although wifi will be readily available on the platform and ticket halls – the tunnels will be as internet-free as they were in 1863.
Nevertheless this is a huge leap forward for London and should provide a much needed distraction for those stuck in the enormous crowds which will fill the underground when the Olympics begin on Friday 27th July.
For the full list of stations adopting the wifi service visit tfl.gov.uk/wifi
Words: Aaron Brown