Virgin Media has announced that the free Wi-Fi hotspots that it installed at various stations on the London Underground will continue into 2013.
The service went live in July, in time for the 2012 Olympics and was only going to remain free for a short time. Soon after the Games the original plan was for the service to be available only to Virgin Media customers who had one of its broadband packages at home.
According to The Telegraph, Virgin Media is now in wholesale discussions with other broadband providers so they can include Tube Wi-Fi access in their packages next year. So, although it won’t be free forever, you may eventually be able to access it through various ISP bundles, not just Virgin’s.
“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,” Virgin Media’s Jon James told the paper.
At the moment, Tube Wi-Fi is available in platforms and concourses of 72 stations in zones one to six and delivered by Virgin’s fibre-optic network. Coverage will expand to other sites in the next few months, up to a total of about 120 stations, but it will not be made available in tunnels.
Users need to register for a free account. Virgin reports that more than 660,000 people joined in the first three months. So far, its busiest day was 12 October, when the network reportedly handled more than 1.1 million “individual sessions”, which is defined as accessing apps, Tweeting, posting on Facebook, sending email or accessing the web.
Via The Telegraph