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Wi-fi coming to London Underground platforms ‘by 2012’

March 28, 2011

london undergroundLondon Undergound has confirmed plans to bring Wi-Fi to nearly half of its station platforms in time for the Olympics in 2012.

The announcement comes after a ‘successful’ test of tube hotspots last October by BT.

Now, Transport for London is inviting telecom companies to bid for a contract to provide the service by June 2012.

The proposal is to provide internet access at around half of the 270 subterranean stations on the London network.

Once implemented, the service could prove extremely useful for commuters looking to keep up-to-date with their various social media profiles while on the move.

The plans appear to form part of Mayor of London Boris Johnson’s pledge last year to have ‘London-wide’ Wi-fi in place by 2012.

“I think people do want the facility of looking at their Blackberry, or whatever it happens to be,” Johnson said of the plans last June.

The announcement may however cause concern among the capital’s free daily newspapers handed out at tube stations across the capital.

It will be interesting to note whether the new service has any kind of effect on circulation figures and commuters are given the choice between snatching a copy of their favourite paper or browsing the web on their mobile device.

London is not the first city to consider city-wide Wi-fi. Venice, Italy, has already launched a hotspot network in 2009, which claims to be the largest of its type in Europe.

Access to the Venice system is free for residents of the town, but tourists wanting access have to pay 5EUR a day.

(Photo via Flickr – jessicamelling)

One Comment leave one →
  1. Lee Cooper permalink
    March 30, 2011 2:42 pm

    How much are we going to have to pay for this I wonder?? I can hardly see this torry government or TFL letting us use it for free! More likely we’ll have to pay through the nose

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