Back in June, Virgin Media started rolling out WiFi in London's underground Tube stations. It started with King's Cross and Warren Street. Then Oxford Circus and Green Park were added, along with Victoria and Euston stations. The company's plan was for up to 80 Tube stations to be connected by the end of July and 120 stations by the end of 2012. Virgin also promised free access throughout the summer and through to the end of the Olympic Games. However, it seems Virgin Media isn't prepared to start charging just yet.
Virgin announced that it would continue to provide free WiFi through to the end of the year. The news follows a landmark day for Virgin Media's Tube WiFi. On Thursday, September 27, Virgin Media's WiFi service delivered over one million tweets, Facebook posts, emails and web pages in its busiest 24 hours yet. With a total of 72 London Underground stations connected so far, Virgin says WiFi on London Underground will remain free for everyone throughout 2012.
"WiFi on London Underground has been an incredible success with hundreds of thousands of people kept up-to-date and entertained whilst travelling around our capital city," said Jon James, executive director of broadband at Virgin Media. "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."
The WiFi portal with TfL travel information, updates and London news and entertainment will remain free for all Tube passengers throughout 2012 and beyond. From next year, Virgin broadband and mobile subscribers will retain their free full internet access. Virgin Media says it's currently in discussions with potential wholesale partners to provide the service to their own customers on an ongoing basis.
In a perfect world free wifi would be available everywhere. Think of all the companies that would go out of business though (cable companies, phone companies, cell phone companies (people would switch to ip type cell phones)). It is a catch 22 and you will start seeing battles go on in the comming years over the offering of free wifi because of this.