Free wi-fi Tube stations named

Rory Cellan-Jones gets a sneak preview of the service

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Some of the first London Underground stations to receive free wi-fi over the summer have been named.

Transport for London said King's Cross, Leicester Square, Liverpool Street, Oxford Circus and Stratford would be among about 80 stations to enjoy wi-fi.

It will be available at ticket offices, escalators and platforms by the end of July, ready for the Olympics, it said.

Virgin Media will run the service which will become a pay-as-you-go offering after the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

In March, it was announced Virgin Media had won the contract.

The firm said it intended to introduce wi-fi to 80 stations by the summer, and to up to 120 stations by the end of the year.

Virgin Media's mobile and broadband customers will be offered continued access as part of their subscriptions.

'Deep-level' claim

Non-paying users will be limited to a site showing online travel information.

London Underground's strategy director Gareth Powell said: "The first stations include some of our busiest and most well-known destinations and we're on track for a successful launch this summer, all delivered at no additional cost to fare-payers or taxpayers."

Wi-fi is already available on many of the UK's overground trains. GNER was the first operator to offer the service on the East Coast Main Line in 2004.

However, Transport for London said this would be the UK's first "deep-level" network to provide wireless internet to the public.

Glasgow's Subway has had mobile phone and wi-fi services available on its 15 platforms since 2008, but the service is not as far underground as London's.

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