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It was announced a few months ago that Virgin Media will be rolling out wifi services on the London Underground.

After hearing the news, it sounded like a hoax… But it seems that this was real. Excited I should be, but I wasn’t really. After all having been to Hong Kong, I have used the Internet and made phone calls while underground – 10 years ago!

So to me, news of this was like the UK was finally catching up to the rest of the world

Since the 2 June 2012, the service has started to become available at certain stations. I have not had the chance to try it, but from what I have read, it seems that the Internet will only be available at stations and platforms; not during the actual tube rides through the tunnels?

I had a little think about this and realised that it won’t be much use considering most of the time is spent actually on the train rather than waiting for a train or going through the ticket hall.

Virgin Media will be making this service free to everyone during the summer and will start charging for the service after the Olympics. I will take advantage of this and see how useful it is, but at the moment, unless they can provide a comprehensive service throughout the underground network, its not something worth paying for…

It’s not the first time that the UK is playing catch up. 9 years ago, the Oyster Card system was introduced to allow a touch and go system for quick and easy payment of tickets. A similar system called the Octopus Card had been used in Hong Kong for public transport since 1997. With this card, you can use it at parking meters, vending machines, convenience stores, fast food restaurants and others.

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