In the summer of 2012, Wi-Fi was made available for passengers at 120 stations across the London Underground network, allowing commuters, travellers and London Olympics tourists to use the internet whilst waiting on platforms. Since then, the tariffs have changed, depending on which network you’re on.
If you’re with Virgin Media, however, you’re winning. If get broadband via Virgin Media, or you already have a Virgin Media phone contract, you’ll have Wi-Fi access in over 130 stations for no extra cost. If you don’t have Virgin Media broadband, you’ll have to pay either £2 for a day or £15 a month. It’s only a matter of time before free Wi-Fi is rolled out across public transport networks around the world though. How will this change the way we commute?
Being late to work will no longer be an option
London’s public transport network inspires a lot of chagrin with the millions of commuters that use it every day. We tend to forget that we have one of the greatest public transport systems in the world though. We’ve been spoilt, even though it might not feel like it most of time. Nevertheless, a lot of us will fume when we hear an announcement that the rest of the line we’re on has been closed for repairs unexpectedly.
With Wi-Fi on the Underground, this won’t really be an option any longer. You’ll be able to get updates while you’re in the station, helping you work out a new route to get to work or an appointment. It’s probably a good time to start working out a new list of excuses for being late…
Wi-Fi on the Tube will increase productivity
We all know that in this hyper-connected world, sending one email in time will make all the difference. Although the London Olympics roll-out of 2012 didn’t work on the trains themselves, sending a quick work email while you’re waiting on the platform can make all the difference and make you more relaxed. You won’t find yourself doing a mad-dash for the exit just so you can fire off that important email.
Once they’ve figured out how to implement Wi-Fi on the trains themselves, commuters will be able to turn long journeys into work sessions. Expect to see more people with their laptops and tablets out!
Will reading be ruined?
A bad consequence of increased connectivity is the fact that we’ve become addicted to our social media platforms. Many of us can hardly go a day without typing out a Facebook update or tweeting to our followers. For a lot of us, our commutes are the only time we can indulge in a little reading. Will this be completely eradicated by Wi-Fi?
Of course, old habits die hard. But reading – and most other non-internet related Tube activities – will probably decrease after Wi-Fi is rolled out over the entire network.
It’s surprising that we don’t already enjoy this widespread connectivity across the Underground. But it is interesting to work out how things will be different once we do have universal connectivity. Get Virgin broadband to try a spot of free Wi-fi on the Tube today!