Did happen to try to check your email while underground at Charing Cross tube station between last November and this April?
It’s a random question… but if you did, you may have gotten a recent new message!
That’s because this past November TfL ran a 6 month Wi-Fi trial with wireless provider BT Openzone, which concluded that more than 50% of passengers felt that the service improved their tube experience. Now here’s the exciting part: following the trial’s success, it has been announced that by June of 2012, 120 tube stations will be covered; provider companies have already been invited to bid for the project. According to quotes by Mayor Boris Johnson, it seems that this project is primarily motivated by the upcoming Olympic Games.
It is not yet known how much access to underground Wi-Fi will cost- however access to TfL updates will be free. The current project will only provide coverage on platforms and on parts of the tube- i.e. not in the deeper, tunnel areas.
TfL has reported that they are in discussions with the Mayor and mobile operators to try to offer coverage in even the deep areas of the underground so that neither taxpayers, nor the tube fares will be affected.
So what do you think…? Convenient? Unnecessary? Will Londoners benefit from being even more tuned into technology?