Wi-fi network heading to the London Underground

25 March 2011


If you travel on the London Underground you’ll know that, most of the time, it’s more annoying than the presence of a wasp around your pint in a beer garden. But at least you don’t have to put up with watching people updating their frigging Facebook status while you’re cramped together in that hot, stuffy environment. That’s all going to change.

Following a trial at Charing Cross Station, London Underground are planning to set up a wi-fi network at 120 Tube stations, which could be operational as early as next year. Mayor of London, Boris Johnson said: “The roll out will finally allow Londoners to use mobile devices to pick up their e-mails and stay in touch with the world while they traverse our subterranean network.”

But there is dissent – Will Geddes, a man who specalises in terror or tech-based threats reckons the new network will be a bomber’s paradise. He told the BBC that it could allow terrorists to trigger underground explosions using mobile phone signals, as well as nick bank details and communicate with other terrorists.

But mostly, it’ll be used by people who will be typing ‘I’m writing this from on the Tube. Wow!’ on their fucking smartphones as you get a whiff of their armpit. Bastards.

TOPICS:   Travel   UK News   Gadgets


  • Tweedskin
    Hang on....are you talking about the internet (wifi) on the tube, or mobile network (calls etc) on the tube. Wifi would be good (BBC iPlayer/Spotify), mobile coverage would be bad..... Mind you, those twats would probably just use skype if it's internet only....
  • MrRobin
    What tweedskin said... If it's wifi for internet access then that's great. The tube is way too noisy for voice calls the majority of the time. You often can't even talk to the person stood next to you, let along use a mobile.
  • Andy D.
    EDITED. Apologies for the dog's dinner that was the original draft. I have a cold.
  • The B.
    Another poorly written BBC article (I'm not blaming you for once), this has all been covered many times before over the last 4 years. The big question should be, if you're rolling it out, who's got the contract for rolling out the network? Is it the Chinese company who sound like a Scot vomiting with an implied history of espionage and have been accused of spying for the Chinese government? Anyway, I see DX making a killing selling mobile jammers to Londoners, and I see my jammer battery running down daily.
  • yus
    that pic is not borris johnson that is some tennis player called borris becker, Epic Fail lol http://www.google.com/images?hl=en&sugexp=ldymls&pq=boris+johnson&xhr=t&q=boris+becker&cp=8&client=aff-cs-maxthon&channel=channel1&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.&um=1&ie=UTF-8&source=univ&sa=X&ei=fZ6MTZHhKYKDhQfwh_m8Cw&sqi=2&ved=0CD0QsAQ&biw=1920&bih=955
  • Bazinga
    @yus Borris [sic] the Builder?
  • Bazinga
    @yus Actually my last comment was probably a little subtle. I'll try again. LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOL. FAIL LOL. HAHA. AS IF HE GOT THE WRONG BORRIS COMPLETELY BY MISTAKE. FAIL LOL.
  • callum
    The real bob - Saying a company might be doing espionage because they are Chinese is a bit racist, and what would they be gathering anyway? It's just a wifi network that happens to be in the Underground - just the same as the thousands of networks above ground, many of them ran by Huawei no doubt. As to the subject of bomb triggers, I'm not so sure. It would be pretty hard to leave a package unattended on an underground train, in which case the bomber that's there could just detonate it. Or if they could get away with leaving it unattended, make their own mobile wifi network and move to the back of the train and detonate it? We don't have this problem on the London Overground, the majority of the Underground (which is actually above the ground so presumably has full mobile access) or the extensive National Rail network so I think it's just taking worrying a bit too far. And yus, I'm pretty sure they know that is Boris Becker...
  • The B.
    @Callum - Um, what? Try Googling the company in question along with the word espionage and see what you get? It must be me being racist that provoked all that eh? What a naughty man I am, manipulating the interrnets in such a fashion because I'm such a racist. Anyway, back to your vaguely sensible comment : What would you get? Let's see, what could you possibly get from emails and voip line tapping? Oh that's right, pretty much anything you wanted. Want to know which companies are being considered for hostile takeover, peruse emails from hedge funds which are using your network. People are idiots and assume that everything is secure, email certainly isn't unless you use SSL certs and you know what, no one does, in fact I don't think any currently available smartphone even has the ability to read encrypted mail unless it's through a browser (and who does that?).
  • Boris
    That _is_ my picture. I look better in the mornings after a good night's shagging.
  • Tweedskin
    @The Real Bob Take a breath, step outside, and walk to the pub. It's a nice sunny day. No one is watching you, following you, stealing your emails or line tapping your VOIP calls. You are as insignificant and as boring as the rest of us.
  • Tweedskin
    Oh, and @The Real Bob In answer to this little Gem... "People are idiots and assume that everything is secure, email certainly isn’t unless you use SSL certs and you know what, no one does, in fact I don’t think any currently available smartphone even has the ability to read encrypted mail unless it’s through a browser (and who does that?)." The Gmail app on all Android phones uses SSL encryption. Twat.
  • Spod
    @yus - Christ, you're thick.
  • The B.
    @Tweedskin - Nice intelligent argument there, you seem to have missed the heavily implied "corporate espionage" theme of my post but I guess someone who resort to playgound insults to make a point would do. I apologise for missing the fact that the Gmail app on Android is SSL encrypted but how hard do you think it would be to brute force SSL encrypted streams. Still, that would be a rational argument which would obviously be wasted on you, feel free to come back with some more irrelevant abuse if you desire, although I'm guessing your parents are home at the weekend and pay more attention to your computer usage.

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