Charing Cross to Test WiFi on the Tube

The London Underground is set to move one step closer to WiFi coverage this Monday (1st November) as they set up access to the net with BT. The trial run will take place at Charing Cross station and will be on going for 6 months. This all sounds great at a glance but if we delve a bit deeper into the plans it all looks a tad diluted. Access will be free to BT customers with unlimted BT Fon minutes and for those that aren’t, charges start from £5.99 for 90 minutes access (as stated on their website) which seems quite excessive! The WiFi will only cover the area of the station itself and will not (yet) be available on the tube trains. This seems odd to charge £5.99 for 90 minutes then – is this how long they expect commuters will spend in Charing Cross Station? Will commuters congest the walkways to use up their minutes? On an up note, users will be able to access TfL service updates for free. This is only a trial and we do understand how important this is to offering a better service. The advantages of having internet access on the way to work/a meeting/home would be brilliant. Let just hope they get it right.

Just one more thing; if and when we have internet access on the tube trains commuting to work, what will happen to free papers such as ‘The Metro’? With access from portable devices to an array of news websites will this affect how many of us pick up the paper on the way to the platform? Food for thought…

Ross.

Posted: October 2010

Author: Slate Team Member

Categories:

News , Technology

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