Free Wifi: A New Olympic Legacy?

Yesterday I saw this:

That’s great news, but how long is it around? Is it more temporary, like SXSW’s homeless hotspots? Or is this a lasting Olympic legacy?

In the full story, Virgin is providing the Wifi free during the Olympics, but afterwards the service will only continue to be available for Virgin subscribers:

Starting in July, passengers on the underground system, called the Tube, will be able to connect for free. After the Olympics, Wi-Fi at Tube stations will be made available as part of Virgin Media’s broadband and mobile subscriptions.

So, this looks good for Virgin-they get some nice marketing with the timing and they get to vastly improve their service for their customers. Pretty nice for tourists visiting for the Olympics, too. But what about Londoners in the long term?

I’ll be intrigued to see how this evolves as an Olympic legacy. Wifi is becoming an expected amenity at many events these days. How will future Olympics continue to develop this type of infrastructure for the event itself and for the host cities going forward?

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