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Virgin: London Underground Wi-Fi free until 2013

Posting in Technology

Originally rolled out across selected London Underground stations in preparation for the Olympics, Virgin Media has announced that it will remain free until the end of the year.

Virgin Media secured the monopoly on providing WiFi services on the London Underground after winning the contract in March. The firm began rolling out the scheme to the first set of stations -- Oxford Circus, Leicester Square, Liverpool Street, King’s Cross and Stratford -- by the end of July, and a further 120 have been marked for connection by the end of 2012.

Currently, 72 stations are covered in zones 1 - 6.

The original intention was to keep Wi-Fi connection free during the games, and then converting it into a pay-as-you-go service to monetize on local and tourist alike if you were not a subscriber to Virgin Media home broadband or Virgin Mobile.

However, The Telegraph reports that as Virgin is in "wholesale talks with other mobile internet providers" so Wi-fi access on the underground can be included in packages after next year, the firm is keeping the scheme free for all.

"Commuters and visitors will be able to make use of the internet throughout 2012 and we're in positive talks with potential wholesale partners to ensure a fantastic experience for all Tube passengers throughout 2012 and beyond," said Virgin Media executive Jon James.

Coverage can be found on station platforms, but not when you travel through the tunnels. According to Virgin, over 666,000 people have joined since the network was launched in July.

Image credit: Flickr

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— By on October 17, 2012, 2:01 AM PST

Charlie Osborne

Contributing Editor

Charlie Osborne is a freelance journalist and photographer based in London. In addition to SmartPlanet, she also writes for business technology website ZDNet and consumer technology site CNET. She holds a degree in medical anthropology from the University of Kent. Follow her on Twitter. Disclosure