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Virgin Media to roll out free WiFi in London, bums with iPads rejoice

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Fancy some free municipal WiFi, London? Yeah, we know, the service has been promised several times before, but that's not stopping Virgin Media from giving it the ol' college try. In his address to investors, CEO Neil Berkett announced plans to piggyback the gratis service on its existing cable backhaul "in the not too distant future," shoring up the gap left by operators' unreliable 3G coverage. Seems the media conglomerate's cable network runs mostly idle during the day -- a fact revealed during last week's earnings call -- and with only four percent market share, Virgin could certainly handle the extra traffic. The move is a straight shot at BT's similar, albeit partially free offering, and would provide download speeds of 0.5Mbps to the general public, with the truly blazing 10Mbps reserved for the company's own internet subscribers. But don't expect this business extension to break Virgin's bank, costing only a "few million pounds," this free-of-charge WiFi network's just a drop in its two tonne bucket. All that's left is a few permissive nods from the city's councils and you Londoners can keep up with the latest TOWIE drama wherever you go.

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