Virgin Media chief hails 'truly historic moment' as Wi-Fi comes to Underground
London Underground has begun its Wi-Fi roll-out across key stations today, accompanied by a poster campaign, with King's Cross and Warren Street now live and Oxford Circus and Green Park to be connected tomorrow.
London Underground, the world’s oldest Tube network, is reported to be on track for plans to connect up to 80 Tube stations across the capital by the end of July in time for the London 2012 Olympics. A further 40 stations are expected to be live by the end of 2012.
Victoria and Euston stations will be connected on 9 June, meaning passengers on the Victoria line will be the first to benefit from multiple Wi-Fi access.
Poster ads celebrating the arrival of the free internet service will feature on walls of the tube stations as and when connectivity is completed.
To use the Wi-Fi service, London Underground passengers just need to connect to the service and register their email address.
Access to the internet will be free throughout the summer when visitors will be attending London 2012 Olympics and Paralympics, but will be restricted afterwards.
All Tube passengers will have permanent, free access to Virgin’s "Wi-Fi portal", which will run up-to-the-minute TfL travel news and entertainment, travel and music content from media partners, Time Out, Spotify and MyMovies.net.
But after the summer, passengers wanting to surf the rest of the internet will have a choice of using daily, weekly or monthly pay-as-you-go services.
Subscribers of Virgin Media will be able to access full internet service across the Wi-Fi enabled Underground stations for free, as an additional subscriber benefit.
Neil Berkett, chief executive of Virgin Media, said: "This is a truly historic moment as we connect millions of Tube passengers to the wonderful world of the internet for the first time ever.
"Our plans for getting London Underground online were very ambitious from the start and, in less than just three months, we’ve launched a major new service, making London one of the world’s leading connected cities.
"By putting the power of Virgin Media’s next generation fibre optic network in the hands of Londoners and visitors, we’re able to showcase our great capital and celebrate a momentous summer."
Mayor Boris Johnson called the partnership with Virgin Media a "tremendous benefit", adding that building world class connectivity is "critical to supporting new businesses and the jobs they create, especially in the high-tech and creative sectors".
Included in Virgin's free Wi-Fi portal will be recommendations from Time Out, exclusive playlists from Spotify, and the latest trailers and red carpet news from MyMovies.Net.
Gareth Powell, director of strategy and service development at London Underground, confirmed the Wi-Fi service will come at "no cost to fare or tax payers".
Follow Arif Durrani on Twitter @DurraniMix
This article was first published on campaignlive.co.uk
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