Virgin Media to offer free WiFi in London

Written by Antony Leather

August 4, 2011 // 12:11 p.m.

Tags: #free-wifi #ipad #iphone #laptop #london-free-wifi #virgin-media

Virgin Media is reportedly talking with London Councils about the possibility of offering a free WiFi network across London.

According to The Telegraph, Virgin Media's chief executive, Neil Berkett, told investors that he was optimistic the rollout would occur 'in the not too distant future.'

The proposal would offer free a meagre 0.5Mb/sec WiFi to everyone, although Virgin Media broadband customers would be able to tap into a far healthier 10Mb/sec service. Berkett stated that lacklustre 3G speeds and a demand for faster access for mobile devices were key motives, as well as the delayed 4G service leaving a gap in the market.

The firm intends to install WiFi routers in its existing infrastructure, and is in talks with the councils to pave the way for the work needed.

Currently, other blanket WiFi networks include BT's Openzone, where BT customers share their own WiFi bandwidth with passers-by, who then gain free access. However, non-BT customers can be charged up to £5.99 for 90 minutes of browsing using BT's own hotspots, or the WiFi of participating customers.

Would a free WiFi network be useful to you alongside your current mobile data plan? Would you consider signing up to Virgin Media's broadband service to be able to tap into the 10Mb/sec service? Let us know in the forums.

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