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London Underground gets wifi

"Sorry luv, I would have called or texted but I was down the Tube". One of the great excuses used by Londoners for years is about to be rendered obsolete. A wifi network is being extended across the capital’s underground system, making it possible for commuters to surf the net and send emails while cursing about the delays caused by signal failures at Moorgate.

King's Cross and Warren Street were the first stations to go online followed by Oxford Circus and Green Park. By the end of the summer more than 80 stations across London will have the free wifi facility.

With little thought for the convenience of those who view the tube as a blessed temporary escape from the connected world, Virgin Media, who provide the service, proclaimed it as a major breakthrough for communications in the capital. "This is a truly historic moment, as we connect millions of tube passengers to the wonderful world of the internet for the first time," they gushed.

Virgin Media is hoping that there will be plenty of early adopters for the wifi service. Like any dealer looking to get their customers hooked, the first sample will be on the house. The wifi will be free until the end of the Olympics. Then, ominously, there will be charges to use most of the services, although Virgin Media and Transport for London sites will remain free of charge.

This being Britain of course, the excuse will be easy to update: "Sorry luv, tried to call but the wifi network was down/I was out of credit/Virgin Media has barred me."

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