Virgin Media win Wi-Fi contract for London underground:
The Wi-Fi contract for the London Underground that has been the target for a number of companies has been awarded to Virgin Media, giving them permission to install their services at 120 stations.
The Internet Service Provider (ISP) is committing to providing the Wi-Fi service to 80 of the stations as a minimum by the time July comes around for the 2012 Olympic Games. The service will be free to use for all passengers whilst on the platforms but not on carriages.
How long will the Free access last?
Despite the fact that the Wi-Fi access will be free to all customers during the period of the 2012 Olympic games the ISP have no intentions of letting that remain. Once the games have come to an end the service will only be accessible through two methods currently on the table, one of which is as you would expect if you are a Virgin Media customer you get access free of charge and the second option is a pay-as-you-go “contract”.
A spokesperson from the ISP has mention it is also looking into other options to grant access to people through renting out the equipment it is due to install to other providers.
“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,”
said Mayor of London, Boris Johnson.
“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.”
The CEO of Virgin Media Meil Berkit said that the company’s fibre optic infrastructure will be the key component to the service.
“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,”
There had been a lot of competition for the contract, of which claims had been made that it was dropped in 2011. Huawei was the initial front runner with an offer of £50 million to setup the Wi-Fi. It would seem though that they have been beaten by Virgin Media.James Hedges