03/12/2017

[Newspaper Column] London Underground WiFi

Each week the Romford Recorder and Ilford Recorder have the Steve N Allen column. If you're around East London and West Essex you can buy the newspaper every Thursday/Friday, or follow @mrstevenallen to see the columns on Twitter. You can also read the archive of past ones, which can be found here.



You can click the image to zoom in on the paper, or read the column below.


How often do you make use of our proximity to London? In no time you can be on the London Underground but you have to go without the internet between stations.

That few minutes without a connection to Kim Kardashian's Instagram and whatever else is online is a worry for some. Good news, the London Underground is getting 4G.

At the moment you can get WiFi in most stations but instead of letting you simply connect for free you have to go to a webpage on your browser. You get into the station, wait for your phone to find the WiFi, when it connects you open the browser and by the time you can click the button to get your WiFi the train has left the station. This repeats in every station till you arrive at your destination never having connected to the internet but having used 50% of your battery.

By 2019 you'll have 4G. By then 4G will probably be considered an old fashioned system, like when you're in a bad signal area and you notice that E on your phone which means you'll be there all day checking an email.

But do we need it? The Tube used to be the one place where you could get away from the constant connection. If someone tried to call and you missed it saying, “I was on the Tube,” was a good enough excuse. Now we'll be obliged to reply to work emails and if you read a WhatsApp message you'll leave the telltale two blue ticks that means you have to reply or lose that friendship forever.

Now if you want to go to a place where you don't have a signal connecting you to the Internet all the time you'll have to go to most places in the North or South West or East Anglia.

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