Virgin Media has flicked the switch and coated Kings Cross and Warren Street tube stations in gloriously free WiFi. The pair will be joined tomorrow by Oxford Circus and Green Park, while Victoria and Euston will do the same on the 9th. In order to use the service, which is free during the Olympics, users need to hop onto the network and register their email address. Once the summer is over, Virgin Media customers will get preferential treatment on the network, with everyone else buying pay-as-you-go minutes so they can tweet about how long we're stuck at Edgware Road... again.
WiFi now live at first Tube stations
World's oldest underground network brings digital future to commuters
Virgin Media to provide free WiFi to passengers this summer
By end of July 80 stations to have WiFi access. 120 expected by the end of the year
London Tube journeys have taken a gigantic leap into the 21st century with the launch of Virgin Media's next generation WiFi service on London Underground. From today (7 June) passengers can get online and stay in touch with the world above at King's Cross and Warren Street Tube stations. Oxford Circus and Green Park Tube stations will go live from tomorrow (8 June), with Victoria and Euston going live on 9 June, meaning passengers on the Victoria line will be the first to benefit from WiFi.
Up to 80 Tube stations across the capital will be connected by the end of July and 120 stations are expected to be live by the end of 2012.
The capital is already home to more software and IT companies than any other European City; and the digital and hi-tech sector is expected to account for a third of the capital's growth over the next two decades. Ensuring London's digital connectivity is world class will be key to furthering this growth - helping existing tech start-ups to grow and attracting high tech global investment.
The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said: "We need to ensure London is able to cement its position as Europe's leading digital city. Our partnership with Virgin Media to make WiFi available on Tube platforms will be of tremendous benefit as building world class connectivity is critical to supporting new businesses and the jobs they create, especially in the high-tech and creative sectors."
A comprehensive, free WiFi portal will allow millions of commuters and visitors to get online and find their way around London with up-to-the-minute TfL travel information, as well as discover great things to do in the capital with daily recommendations from Time Out, exclusive playlists from Spotify and the latest trailers and red carpet gossip from MyMovies.Net.
Working in close partnership with Transport for London, Virgin Media is also offering free, full internet access to every online destination throughout the summer, so all Tube passengers will be able to share one of the most amazing summers London has ever seen.
Gareth Powell, London Underground's Director of Strategy and Service Development, said: "Our new WiFi service is a fantastic deal for Londoners, with live travel updates, entertainment and news freely available to everyone while they are on the move across the capital.
"WiFi at Tube stations will help us improve the journeys of the millions of people that use the Underground everyday at no cost to fare or tax payers."
Neil Berkett, CEO, Virgin Media, said: "This is a truly historic moment as we connect millions of Tube passengers to the wonderful world of the internet for the first time ever. Our plans for getting London Underground online were very ambitious from the start and, in less than just three months, we've launched a major new service, making London one of the world's leading connected cities. By putting the power of Virgin Media's next generation fibre optic network in the hands of Londoners and visitors, we're able to showcase our great capital and celebrate a momentous summer."
To use the new free WiFi service, London Underground passengers just need to connect to the service and register their email address.
All Tube passengers will have permanent, free access to the new Virgin Media WiFi portal, with up-to-the-minute TfL travel news and great content from Virgin Media's WiFi partners Time Out, Spotify and MyMovies.net.
After the summer, passengers wanting to hop onto the rest of the internet will be able to make the most of a range of options including full internet access for customers of Virgin Media and selected networks, as well as a Pay As You Go service perfect for visitors and regular London commuters.