Following yesterday's announcement that Virgin Media is to begin rolling out its wireless internet service at tube stations across London, confirmation of the roughly 80 transport hubs that should enjoy Wi-Fi connectivity by the end of July has today been received.
The list features most of London's main Underground stations, including Victoria, London Bridge and Paddington as well as all four Heathrow stops. Shopping mecca Oxford Circus, Olympics hub Stratford, and Eurostar terminal King's Cross/St. Pancras will be among the first to be connected.
The service will be available for free throughout the summer, as all eyes turn on London amidst its highly anticipated ‘Summer of Sport' centred around the Olympic games. Up to 120 Wi-Fi enabled stations are expected by the end of the calendar year.
Jon James, Executive Director of Broadband at Virgin Media, commented on the new service, which will enable underground customers to obtain the latest transport information as well as stay up-to-date with social media, access entertainment content, and surf the net.
"In partnership with TfL, we've been working around-the-clock to install and test WiFi on London Underground and are about to connect some iconic and world famous Tube stations with a service London will be proud of," he said.
Reports indicate that trials have so far progressed well, including the recent capacity testing at Chancery Lane where hundreds of devices attempted to log-on simultaneously to mimic the experience of a busy Tube train. Both parties involved - Virgin and Transport for London - say the project is on schedule.
Londoners and interested future visitors who glance at the provisional list of connected stations will see that the coverage is fairly comprehensive. The only glaring omission seems to the main Wimbledon terminal that sits at one end of the District Line and connects with a variety of National Rail services.
Many visitors to SW19 and its famous annual tennis tournament - the All England Lawn Tennis Club will also host the Olympic tennis event - alight at the station. The other two main stations utilised by visitors to the grass courts, Wimbledon Park and Southfields, do feature on the list. Earl's Court also appears to have missed out on the initial round, despite being a central District Line terminal and the principle alighting point for the nearby Exhibition Centre.
The Wi-Fi roll out to Underground stations comes as public space wireless services in London are rapidly expanding. Sky recently enabled thousands of new Cloud hotspots, while London Overground trains already enjoy free connectivity.