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Virgin Media Tube Wi-Fi service sparks concern

Wednesday, April 4th 2012 by Paul France
Concern for Virgin Media's London Underground Wi-Fi service

The Liberal Democrats have questioned plans to charge non-Virgin Media customers for access to the forthcoming Tube Wi-Fi service.

Concerns have been expressed about Virgin Media's plan to restrict free Wi-Fi access on the London Underground network to its own customers.

Transport for London awarded the cable company the contract to roll out a wireless internet service to up to 120 Tube stations at no cost to passengers or the taxpayer.

The Wi-Fi service will be available free of charge to all customers from this summer at more than 80 stations, but will move to a subscription model after this promotional period.

Virgin Media broadband and mobile subscribers will still be able to connect at no cost, but a pay-as-you-go model will be introduced for other passengers, while additional commercial models are also in the pipeline.

Caroline Pidgeon, leader of the Liberal Democrat group in London and spokesperson on transport in the capital, commented: "Whilst it is being extended to 120 stations by the end of 2012, it appears that passengers will only be able to use this service for free if they are on a Virgin Media contract."

She added the costs for non-Virgin Media customers are unclear and said she will table questions to ascertain what the move really means for passengers.

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