From the Guardian
London Underground Wi-Fi deal goes to Virgin Media
Wi-Fi network will provide internet access at 80 London Underground stations in time for the Olympics
London Underground has awarded the contract to provide Wi-Fi access on the tube to Virgin Media.
Wireless internet access will be available at 80 stations in time for the 2012 Olympics, while the service will be rolled out to a further 40 stations by the end of the year, the company said. Wi-Fi coverage will be available in ticket halls, escalators and platforms, but not between stations.
A Virgin spokesman told Guardian Government Computing that the service is being provided at no cost to London Underground and is being funded from the company's capital expenditure budget of some £640m for 2012.
The service will be free for passengers during the Olympics and Paralympics. After the Games, however, it will only offer free live Transport for London travel information via a new online portal for free, while passengers using the network to access other services will be charged on a pay as you go basis. Virgin customers will pay for the service through their regular subscriptions.
As well as bringing wireless internet to passengers, the Wi-Fi will also make a change to the work of Transport for London (TfL) IT department and allow more workers to become mobile.
"It affects us greatly. Once we've got that capability rolled out, we can dramatically change how we deliver services to Transport for London. No longer are we tied to a fixed copper and fibre in the ground delivery mechanism and... we can reduce costs maybe on the networks, maybe on the terminal equipment, and the types of equipment we interface with is dramatically different," TfL's CIO Steve Townsend told Guardian Government Computing in a recent interview.
The Wi-Fi could in future lead to the roll out of Windows, Android or Apple smartphones in future, he said.