Transport for London (TfL) has confirmed it is in the final stages of a tender process to appoint a provider of wifi internet access on the tube network, with up to 120 stations set to benefit from the service before the London 2012 Games.
According to TfL “An announcement of the chosen service provider will be made in early spring, leaving plenty of time for this to be delivered to customers in time for the 2012 Games”.
The service will be available within stations and on platforms, but not within carriages between stations. The news follows the trial of wifi internet access at Charing Cross station.
The London Underground tender document, which was originally drawn up in March 2011, says it is “seeking to appoint an exclusive provider of public wifi services on its stations for its 4,000,000 daily customers. The appointment will be initially for a five year period with a possible extension period”.
The agreement will see up to 120 stations initially connected to the network, with the remainder following by 2013-2014, along with the possible extension “to other Transport for London surface assets such as bus shelters”.
A London Underground portal will be made available free of charge, which is “likely to include real time travel information, news, sports, entertainment”, but other data services and links to external sites “may be subject to a subscription fee”.
Report by Mark Caswell