Good news, Londoners! Wi-Fi in Tube stations is going to stay free for the foreseeable future. Bad news: it's only if you're a customer of Virgin Media, Vodafone, Orange, T-Mobile or EE.
If you're not signed up to one of those companies, you'll have to pay £2 per day, £5 per week or £15 per month to check your email while you wait two minutes for the next train. That'll have to be some crucial email.
Wi-Fi will remain free for everyone until the end of January next year, when this new pay as you go plan starts. Travel information will still be free for all, like Bank at half past five.
The glistening tendrils of the Web have spread further underground too, with 20 more stations plugged in and 28 to come in "early 2013". Added today are Balham, Belsize Park, Bounds Green, Chalk Farm, Camden Town, Clapham Common, Clapham South, Finsbury Park, Highgate, Holloway Road, Lancaster Gate, Notting Hill Gate, Oval, Russell Square, Seven Sisters, South Kensington, Swiss Cottage, Turnpike Lane, Wood Green and Mornington Crescent.
The Web is now piping into 92 stations, some of which are even south of the river. Virgin reckons 76 per cent of people living in Greater London will have access to Wi-Fi for free, by getting broadband from Virgin, or mobile from one of its partners.
To access the Wi-Fi you just have to register your email address, then you can use it as any other open hotspot. You can use it on the platforms and escalators, but once your train pulls away down the tunnel you're cut off, marooned from the wonders of the Internet until you reach the next station.
The service was opened in time for the Olympics and was initially supposed to be switched to pay as you go immediately after the Games, but logistical problems have delayed the launch of the paywall by nearly six months. Some 800,000 people have signed up, or one in 10 Londoners.
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