back to article 82 London Underground stations to get free Wi-Fi for the Olympics

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. …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "Monopoly" ??

    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 ??

    MacDonalds, Wetherspoons......

    1. ukgnome

      Re: "Monopoly" ??

      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.

    2. Kay Burley ate my hamster

      Re: "Monopoly" ??

      Yes, it is a Monopoly, the last time I looked McDonalds and Wetherspoons were mostly above ground with some kind of mobile data service also available.

  2. Pete the not so great

    Seems a totally pointless exercise to me


    1. dotdavid

      Re: Seems a totally pointless exercise to me

      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.

  3. Steve Evans


    Crank up those extended laptop batteries and prepare to sniff many foreign language passwords for many unencrypted websites via the unencrypted WiFi.

  4. dogged

    Clarification please

    If you have Virgin Broadband is that enough or do you have to use their shonky mobile phone service to get free WiFi?

    1. Soruk

      Re: Clarification please

      Reverse clarrification please - If you have Virgin Mobile is that enough or do you have to use their shonky broadband service to get free WiFi?

  5. Robert Ramsay
    Thumb Down

    I have one acronym for you...



  6. Silverburn

    Bollox to the wifi about some damned air con that actually works, for use during the summer months?

    Devil, 'cos it's devilishly hot down there.

    1. Nick Ryan Silver badge

      Re: Bollox to the wifi

      IIRC there's still an open challenge to design an effective (given cost and location) air con system for the underground.

      This aside, we could improve things by executing those tube-jockeys who in this weather close the windows and air vents.

      Next up, the soap dodgers...

      1. dotdavid

        Re: Bollox to the wifi

        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.

      2. Kay Burley ate my hamster

        Re: Bollox to the wifi

        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.

        1. quarky

          Re: Bollox to the wifi

          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 :(

          1. quarky

            Re: Bollox to the wifi

            ..Don't covert the heat to electricity...

        2. Stuart Castle

          Re: Bollox to the wifi

          It wasn't expanded by Ken either. IIRC he had time to do it before losing his job.

      3. Fred Flintstone Gold badge

        Soap dodgers

        If only. I've come across enough people who evidently missed their annual bath for the second time that it has put me off using the tube altogether. Eugh.

      4. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: Bollox to the wifi

        What about a convertible soft-top tube train?

    2. the-it-slayer

      Re: Bollox to the wifi

      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).

      1. dotdavid
        Thumb Up

        Re: Bollox to the wifi

        "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.

        1. TRT Silver badge

          Re: Bollox to the wifi

          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).

          1. Grant Mitchell

            Re: Bollox to the wifi

            Everything from westminster to Stratford, except canning town, west ham and Stratford, which are above ground, so no doors there. Don't travel much east huh?

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Perfect for sidejacking.

    Most people don't know the first thing about security, so expect to hear some stories.

  8. Ben 47

    Not a monopoly


    "After that, full internet access will be available to customers of Virgin Media and selected networks, as well as on a Pay As You Go basis."

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Woo-hoo another paid for wifi service

    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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