Virgin Media starts charging for Underground Wi-Fi, adds more stations

Virgin Media starts charging for Underground Wi-Fi, adds more stations

Summary: Virgin Media has extended Wi-Fi on the London Underground to 11 more stations but will now charge some commuters.


London Underground's Wi-Fi network has been extended to 11 more stations--but has also become a paid-for rather than free service for some.

From Tuesday, Tube passengers who aren't customers of Virgin Media, Vodafone or EE (including T-Mobile and Orange) will be charged to use the pay-as-you go service if they wish to connect to the internet from station platforms, escalators, and concourses. They will be charged £2 daily, £5 weekly, and £15 monthly.

The 11 stations to be added to the network include: Gloucester Road, Highbury & Islington, Kentish Town, Great Portland Street, Hammersmith (District & Piccadilly), South Wimbledon, Tooting Bec, Tooting Broadway, Hampstead, Redbridge, and Blackhorse Road.

Virgin Media launched the service in June last year and originally planned to start charging commuters at the end of the Olympics but announced in October that it was extending the free period until the end of the year.

There are currently 103 Wi-Fi-enabled London Underground stations, although Virgin Media is running behind schedule as it originally said it would have 120 stations live by the end of 2012. It now intends to have 120 live by the end of March 2013.

A map showing all stations offering the service is available here (PDF).

Topics: Networking, United Kingdom, Wi-Fi

Sam Shead

About Sam Shead

Sam is generally at his happiest with a new piece of technology in his hands or nailing down an exclusive story. In the past he's written for The Engineer and the Daily Mail. These days, Sam is particularly interested in emerging technology, datacentres, cloud, storage and web start-ups.

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  • 11 more stations?

    Why doesn't the transit authority just install it at all stations and on all trains, and then up the fare a tad? It would give commuters an added incentive to use the Underground, rather than cars, which is what it is for.

    $2 for a day is pretty ridiculous, given that nobody rides the Underground all day; at most a twice daily commute. Just processing those transactions add cost and complexity, and a pain-in-the-you-know-where fore the riders.

    A pretty dumb and short sighted solution if you ask me.
    • Re: $2 for a day

      The article said £2, not $2.
    • Why not sale train tickets that cost more?

      Just have the transportation department and Virgin to contract. Then offer passengers tickets with or with out wifi access. Then it might actually make since, and then have a cheaper price because people might buy longer term transportation passes.