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March 20, 2012updated 22 Aug 2016 1:07pm

Britons put two fingers up to London Underground Wi-Fi

News that Wi-Fi will be introduced to the London underground in time for the Olympics has been met with criticism by the majority of the British public.

By Tineka Smith

A study by the discount site, My Voucher Codes, polled over a thousand British people and found that over half are not happy with Wi-Fi being made available on the Underground.


The public reaction follows the announcement of Virgin Media being selected to provide Wi-Fi access on the London Underground this summer.

The Wi-Fi service will be available in 80 stations by July and 120 by the end of the year. The Wi-Fi connections will only work on platforms, escalators, and ticket offices.

Tube Passengers will be able to connect to the service for free, starting in July. After the Olympics, however, the internet service will be pay-as-you go or as a part of Virgin Media broadband and mobile subscriptions for their customers.

Many of those polled said they are concerned about online privacy, especially when it comes to submitting passwords.The concern about online privacy issues has also bee noted by security specialists.

"Logging on to an unsecure Wi-Fi network can open up the personal and corporate information on your computer, tablet, smartphone or other such device, to any nearby hackers," said Vinod Bange, a partner specialising in Data Protection at Taylor Wessing Law Firm.

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A third of Britons surveyed also said that the service could lead to increased thefts in the underground since more people would have their laptops and tablets out all the time. Another 7% said that people with laptops would take up too much room.

The chairman of MyVoucherCoudes, Mark Pearson, said that Underground Wi-Fi access is a great service to have and those worried about protecting their privacy do not need to use the service.

"There is obviously a risk associated with having an increase in the use of technology on the underground, but at the rate that technology is advancing these days, it would be a shame to pass up the opportunity of having Wi-Fi available on the Underground," said Pearson. "People concerned about privacy and theft should simply ensure that they are vigilant with their belongings; and those against the idea should remember that they simply do not have to use the Wi-Fi because it’s available."

Please follow this author on Twitter @Tineka_S or comment below.

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