I take it you will be describing the provider at every other place in the UK where there's only one Wi-Fi network as a "monopoly" provider ??
Virgin Media has begun rolling out its wireless network to the London Underground with Oxford Circus, Stratford, Kings Cross, Liverpool Street and Leicester Square being among the first stations to offer a Wi-Fi service to commuters. The telco said that it planned to connect 82 stations on the Tube network by the end of July. …
That actually depends on a few things such as -
who your Broadband supplier is, or mobile phone or house phone.
As I am a sky and an orange subscriber I can pretty much walk around using anything I choose. If i had a BT phone then the choice is even greater. Of course in the good old days i would simply war drive and hook up on numerous unprotected wifi.
Not so sure myself. I'd like to be able to get one of the departure boards up on my phone when standing at the platform - usually you can't actually see the real departure board behind all the CCTV cameras, half-finished roofing sections and giant advert projection systems.
Actually they've improved air circulation in a lot of the stations by installing big fans and trialled other things like evaporative coolers in other stations. The new Vicky line trains also have much better fans inside I think. It has made a small difference, although granted it does seem they're just pushing hot air around most of the time.
I think the main problem is the cost of installing anything more effective so far underground on a pretty busy piece of public infrastructure.
That challenge was by Ken years ago, it was for cooling the station platforms rather than trains.
It was won and the system was trialled at Victoria, they pumped groundwater around heat exchangers and out into the sewers to remove heat (a very elegant system as they only needed to add heat exchangers to the existing pumping system), it wasn't expanded by BoJo, he's far more interested in covering everything in adverts for very little return.
I still don't understand why they convert the heat to electricity. There are vacuum diodes that can do this already, and since efficiency isn't the key requirement here, they are probably quite suitable. I did suggest this approach during the competition, but didn't get anywhere :(
Biggest problem is controlling the circulation. Only reason why it can be done on the core part of the Jubilee line is because they have platform doors. Therefore, they can place normal air-con within the underground station. Also, it's possible to channel cooler air through the tunnel with the seperation between train and platform/station.
This equals big money!
On the wi-fi front, it'll be handy to get national rail information whilst waiting at the underground platform so I proactively choose what train I want to get etc. If allowed, BBM/iMessage would be handy to message whilst underground.
I'm sure if you had enough money, you could pursuade Boris to let you deploy your own system against VM (who I really don't have much confidence in anyway).
"Only reason why it can be done on the core part of the Jubilee line is because they have platform doors. Therefore, they can place normal air-con within the underground station"
I reckon they should install those doors on all the zone 1 stations. Would cut down on people jumping / being pushed onto the tracks and knocking out key stations. With the savings from less delays and cancellations it should pay back the investment in a reasonable amount of time, and if that meant the prospect of air conditioning even better.
Innumerable reasons why this is much more difficult that people imagine. The only reason they are there on (part of) the Jubilee line is that they were designed in from the off - everything on the extension has them, from Westminster to Stratford. Don't forget, the Jubilee used to terminate at Charing Cross - the stations to the north have no PEDs (platform edge doors).
As a vodafone customer, i was always supposed to have bt wifi when out and about... never worked.
When i come across a wifi area where i have to put a card, i just can't be bothered with it.
If i really need internet i can share the phone's 3g
Outside of europe, wifi is everywhere and usually free. Just another reason why the UK is getting less and less competitive.
At least not many people will be using it, due to delay in the sign up process.
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