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In a boost to Londoners and visitors to the UK capital, Virgin Media has extended its free Tube Wi-Fi service until the end of 2012.

Earlier this year, the broadband provider deployed wireless technology at stations across the London Underground, creating a subterranean Wi-Fi network in time for the Olympic Games.

Mobile device users have been able to get online while waiting for their Tube trains, allowing them to conduct a range of tasks online, reports the Telegraph.

Virgin Media was planning to introduce charges for wireless broadband on the London Underground this autumn, but will continue to offer free internet until January 2013.

The provider remains in negotiations with other home broadband providers, who could introduce Tube Wi-Fi as a package feature next year.

At present, the network covers 72 stations in Tube zones one to six, with Virgin Media aiming to raise this total to 120 by the end of the year.

"Commuters and visitors will be able to make use of the internet throughout 2012," said Jon James, Executive Director of Broadband at Virgin Media.

"We’re in positive talks with potential wholesale partners to ensure a fantastic experience for all Tube passengers throughout 2012 and beyond."

Some 660,000 people have registered to use the Wi-Fi service since it launched in July this year.

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