Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Virgin takes a gamble on the streets of London .

Okay, I could not resist the raunchy title for this blog post. The Daily Telegraph provides the cleaner title and details though...

Virgin Media to 'take a punt' on free London WiFi network.

Virgin Media is close to launching a free public WiFi scheme in London that will challenge BT’s Openzone network, which charges for access. The firm’s chief executive Neil Berkett told investors that it was in “quite advanced negotiations” with London councils over the plans and said he was optimistic the rollout would begin “in the not too distant future”.
“The proposition would be that we would provide free Wifi access for all,” he said.
Virgin Media’s WiFi network will be freely available to anyone at 0.5Mbps, and to its home broadband subscribers at up to 10Mbps.
The approach contrasts with BT’s extensive Openzone network, which although free to BT broadband customers, is charged at as much as £5.99 for 90 minutes’ browsing.
Mr Berkett described the plans as “a punt” that will cost Virgin Media “a few million pounds” and will “keep them [BT] honest”.
Virgin Media plans to install WiFi routers in its existing infrastructure, including the street-side cabinets that distribute its cable network into home. The talks with councils are focused on gaining permission for the necessary works.

...This is rather good news and in the spirit of a free internet. Virgin Media are taking a gamble by giving away for free their spare capacity. But this gamble should pay-off for Virgin Media as it really gets their brand across to the public for less cost than traditional advertising. People like things for free and it will make BT Openzone appear rather greedy and Richard Branson the good guy. It is very public spirited to offer free WiFi to people away from their homes. Many businesses are now offering free WiFi to their customers, a perk that costs little per user but generates great customer loyalty and good will.

Many Police stations have extensive radio type equipment on their roofs. The Police have great difficulty in getting support from the general public because of their policies on peaceful demonstrations and speed limits. Maybe if the Police were to offer free WiFi to people near their stations, they may recoup some of their lost support from the public.
I've never been charged for using by openzone. As far as I'm aware it's free!! Don't know where you get yur info from Steve but on this occasion you are incorrect
That's what the article in the Daily Telegraph says - I am just passing it on in good faith. Who is your mobile telephone provider, they may have a deal with BT?
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