London Underground stations will get free wireless broadband from Virgin Media for the 2012 Olympics.
The WiFi service is being installed at more than 80 stations from July, and will reach up to 120 stations by the end of the year.
It will be free of charge to all users during the Olympic and Paralympic games, after which it will be free to Virgin broadband and mobile customers, with pay-as-you-go access for others.
Virgin will also supply a free Transport for London travel portal for travellers to use without charge.
The service is being installed at no cost to either Transport for London passengers or London taxpayers.
Boris Johnson, the Mayor of London, said: “It’s vital that we harness the massive opportunities stemming from the digital revolution, by creating a vibrant, world class industry to attract investment and create jobs for Londoners.
“Millions of passengers will now be able to connect to their work, friends or access the latest news and travel information whilst on the move. This is a fabulous new and free resource which will be in place from this summer when London is being showcased on a global stage and playing host to millions.
Gareth Powell, LU’s director of strategy and service development, said: “We’re upgrading the Tube to make it fit for the 21st Century. This latest innovation is great news for Tube customers, who now have access to emails, web and social media underground for the first time. It’s also delivered at no cost to fare payers and taxpayers.
“Today, TfL provides a wealth of free live travel information, via our website and through the many excellent travel apps now available. Wi-Fi on the Tube means our customers can now get the latest live travel information and check how services are running, on the move and underground, where and when they need it.”
Neil Berkett, CEO, Virgin Media, said: “With the eyes of the world on London this summer, we’ll be showing off our capital as a leading connected city on the global stage.
“We’re putting the power of Virgin Media’s fibre optic network in the hands of millions of Londoners, commuters and visitors and are delighted to be launching Wi-Fi for free throughout summer 2012 and beyond.
“We’ll help people make the most of the city and will continue to evolve the service, ensuring everyone can benefit from a service London will be proud of.”
UPDATE 01/06/2012: TfL and Virgin announce the first 80 London Underground stations to get WiFi.
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