Feeds

London Mayor Boris grilled on Virgin's Underground penetration

Answered - who, what and for how long

Security for virtualized datacentres

Virgin Media's London Underground wireless monopoly will last five years, but that's all right 'cos it didn't cost Transport for London a penny and other companies were allowed to bid.

Responding to questions from Mayorwatch, TfL explained that Virgin Media is paying to provide public Wi-Fi over infrastructure that was being fitted to the tube network anyway, and that Virgin will be allowed to make use of "public information channels" to publicise its service, but it won't get free advertising.

After a few months of free access (long enough to last the Olympics) the network will remain gratis for Virgin Media customers, but everyone else will have to pay. Virgin Media will maintain its monopoly at least until the contract comes up for renewal in 2017, but there won't be Virgin logos on the platforms beyond those within the usual poster sites.

Virgin Media will get some promotion of the service, as the London Underground will be "allowing access to the same public information channels used for other service improvement" but exactly what that means isn't clear.

No one will say how much Virgin Media is paying for all this, but it's not having to pay for the infrastructure (as it was going in for staff use anyway) so the money is for the monopoly, and the backhaul out of the Underground.

That monopoly shouldn't be underestimated, though in practical terms Wi-Fi on the platform might not be very useful (as the majority of time is spent on the train, particularly in the middle of London) but the bragging rights are considerable.

Virgin Media can't mention the Olympics, it isn't a sponsor so can't even refer to the fact that the free Wi-Fi will last until the end of the 2012 Games. It will be interesting to see how Virgin Media spins this to make its money, but even when it reaches the promised 120 stations it's not going to make a significant difference to most Londoners. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Blockbuster book lays out the first 20 years of the Smartphone Wars
Symbian's David Wood bares all. Not for the faint hearted
'Serious flaws in the Vertigan report' says broadband boffin
Report 'fails reality test' , is 'simply wrong' and offers ''convenient' justification for FTTN says Rod Tucker
This flashlight app requires: Your contacts list, identity, access to your camera...
Who us, dodgy? Vast majority of mobile apps fail privacy test
Apple Watch will CONQUER smartwatch world – analysts
After Applelocalypse, other wristputers will get stuck in
Shades of Mannesmann: Vodafone should buy T-Mobile US
Biting the bullet would let Blighty-based biz flip the bird at AT&T
Drag queens: Oh, don't be so bitchy, Facebook! Let us use our stage names
Handbags at dawn over free content ad network's ID policy
Net neutrality fans' joy as '2.3 million email' flood hits US Congress
FCC invites opinions in CSV format, after Slowdown day 'success'
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile
Data demand and the rise of virtualization is challenging IT teams to deliver storage performance, scalability and capacity that can keep up, while maximizing efficiency.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.