Virgin Media announces public Wi-Fi network plans

UK entertainment and media giant Virgin Media announced that the company had plans to make multi-million pound investment to launch its own network of public Wi-Fi broadband hotspots.

The Wi-Fi broadband hotspots will be launched in various major cities of the country. Virgin Media’s broadband and mobile customers will be able to access the service for free, while non-Virgin customers will be able to avail the service by either paying on a pay-as-you-go basis or by paying a small subscription fee.

Virgin media’s potential Wi-Fi hotspots will get connected via company’s cable network, and will offer download speeds of up to 5Mb/s.

However, Virgin Media’s Wi-Fi hotspots will have to compete with that of BT’s. BT has as many as 3,900 hotspots across the country. BT also borrows some of the Wi-Fi coverage from about 1,955,000 of its fixed line Total Broadband customers using their BT-FON service.

Kevin Baughan, the advance technology officer at Virgin Media, said they gained the inspiration for the service from their Cablevision which is offering public Wi-Fi hotspots in New York.

Virgin Media is also set to roll out its high-speed broadband of 100Mb/s before the end of this year.