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41 London tube station platforms now WIRED for Wi-Fi

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Virgin Media has now installed Wi-Fi kit in more than 40 London Underground stations as it continues to connect its fibre backhaul network to around half of the capital's tube stations – although the service will only be available at platform-level.

Passengers will be able to use VM's monopoly underground wireless network for free while a certain big sport event is taking place in East London. After the final javelin has been thrown, Virgin Media customers will continue to get free access while waiting at a platform for the next tube to pull in.

By the end of this summer, everyone else will have to pay, apart from a limited offering "including TfL’s journey planner and entertainment and news content useful for a commute to work or trip into town", which will continue to be free.

Virgin Media, in its latest press release announcing that it had installed more Wi-Fi kit in 40 additional tube stations, said that 100,000 passengers had used the service in the first four weeks.

The telco plans to enable 120 tube stations with the service by the end of 2012.

Virgin Media added that it was "offering mobile operators, internet service providers and other service providers the opportunity to wholesale the service and make it freely available to their customers."

Tube passengers who want access to the currently free service have to register for the Wi-Fi by providing their email addresses to VM.

Last month, the Evening Standard reported that Virgin Media's Ts&Cs for the service appeared to permit the firm to snoop on users' email and internet communications, forcing the firm into an embarrassing climbdown.

VM later altered the small print but insisted it never had any intention of nosying on customers', er, underground web activity. Instead it claimed that the clause was only there to allow it to comply with its legal obligations. ®

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