Virgin Media have been enlisted to provide wireless internet access at 80 tubes stations across London, rising to 120 stations by the end of the year.
The service, available from July, will initially be free to all customer, but will later be made available as a part of Virgin Media’s broadband and mobile subscriptions.
Virgin customers with an existing Virgin contract should be able to access the service for free, while everyone else will have to shell out on a pay-as-you-go basis.
The roll-out of the service is being timed to coincide with the London Olympics and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.
Boris Johnson said: “It’s vital that we harness the massive opportunities stemming from the digital revolution, by creating a vibrant, world class industry to attract investment and create jobs for Londoners,
“Millions of passengers will now be able to connect to their work, friends or access the latest news and travel information whilst on the move. This is a fabulous new and free resource which will be in place from this summer when London is being showcased on a global stage and playing host to millions,” he said.
Gareth Powell, London Underground director of strategy, said: “This latest innovation is great news for Tube customers, who now have access to emails, web and social media underground for the first time. It’s also delivered at no cost to fare payers and taxpayers.
“Today, TfL provides a wealth of free live travel information, via our website and through the many excellent travel apps now available.
“WiFi on the Tube means our customers can now get the latest live travel information and check how services are running, on the move and underground, where and when they need it.”
Commuters at London’s Highbury and Islington station were unimpressed however.
“It’s free in Singapore,” said Karl Martin, a business analyst from Canonbury.
“It’s typical, every other city gets innovation, and Londoners get a half-arsed monetised version.
“We pay more for travel than anywhere else in the world and get a worse service.
“And then they crow about it like it’s a good thing – like it’s something we should be proud of.
“Oh thanks for another service that’ll doubtless be overpriced, and probably won’t work as advertised.
“Jokers. Absolute jokers,” he added.
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