Virgin's Underground wifi reaches Cockfosters in a hurry
First it was just a few Underground stations that offered Virgin's free wifi. Then it was 50. But now the total has reached 250, just 20 shy of a full station house. The service has even penetrated to those fabled end-of-line destinations, including the Cockfosters, that most tube customers have never visited but have on their bucket lists. I've not knowingly been to Cockfosters, but every time I use the Piccadilly line I'm tempted to stay onboard for the ride, just for the heck of it. It must be a wonderful place.
The good thing about Virgin's station-based system is the once you've registered (as a Virgin Media customer or via other service providers such as Vodafone) future handshaking is seamless and automatic: No credentials to enter, no limitations on time. Of course, a station-based service isn't as satisfying as on-board wifi such as I've experienced recently in Hong Kong or Beijing, but it's definitely a step in the right direction. As you travel the network your mobile will attempt to connect at every station, often giving sufficient time to send a stacked email or text message. Other times, though, the handshaking takes too long and the train is already departing before the signal bars come alive. That's frustrating, but it does offer a patchy service as you progress through the tunnels.