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London Underground Wi-Fi faster than broadband in the average home

18th June 2012 Print conducted speed tests at the first five London Underground stations to offer free Wi-Fi ahead of the Olympics. The Wi-Fi hotspots, provided by Virgin Media, offered an average download speed of 12.7Mb when tested during the Thursday morning rush hour.

Six stations were tested: Kings Cross, Warren Street, Oxford Circus, Green Park, Euston and Victoria. Of the stations tested Euston had the fastest downloads with an impressive average speed of 14.59Mb. When it came to upload speeds, Victoria was top of the table with an average upload speed of 13.53Mb.

The ability to connect while underground is the start of a whole new era of tube travel. The speeds available make it possible not only to surf and check emails but are also fast enough to make calls over Skype, download new apps for your phone and even watch TV!

Sky Go requires a connection speed of 2Mb, which means anyone waiting for a train at Euston can comfortably stream live sports or TV via the Sky Go app. Smartphone and tablet users could even catch live goals during the Euros via the ITV app and watch Olympic coverage via the BBC iPlayer.

Dominic Baliszewski,, commented: "As most Londoners know, very little gets done quickly at rush hour, especially when it comes to the tube, but our recent tests show that Virgin Media's Wi-Fi can deliver significant internet speeds even during peak commuting times. From now until the end of the Olympics, Wi-Fi will be free for anyone and, following that, free for Virgin Media customers.

"It will be interesting to see how these services perform during the busiest period of the Olympics but, if speeds are anything like those seen this morning, Londoner's can be proud of our connected credentials.

"These results show that it is now possible to get faster connection speeds underground than above ground, with the UK average a paltry 7.6Mb - cold comfort for those in rural areas currently struggling with their connection.

"Do remember that, at present, connections are only available in tube stations - not on the trains themselves. So, if England are about to take a penalty in the final of Euro 2012, or if Hoy's about to break a world record, it might be worth waiting for the next train!"