Virgin Media CEO Mockridge blasts government WiFi pledge


He has called digital minister Matt Hancock’s promise of making WiFi available on all trains by 2020 unrealistic

Virgin Media CEO Tom Mockridge has blasted the UK government’s plan to make free WiFi available on all of Britain’s trains by 2020.

Digital minister Matt Hancock made the pledge during his keynote speech on October 19 at the Broadband World Forum.

It follows a previous decision by the Department for Transport in February last year to provide £50 million worth of funding to ensure WiFi is available on selected train services. This includes Thameslink, Southeaster, Chiltern and Arrive Trains Wales.

Mockridge, who was speaking at the same event, criticised Hancock’s promise and labelled the aims “unrealistic” according to several reports.

“Crossrail has been built and is scheduled for launch in two years, but it has been built without the provisions for WiFi,” he said.

“Here we are building a world class transport infrastructure and Transport for London (TfL) says it’s too busy to think about WiFi.

“We’re getting rhetoric from the government too, and even Matt Hancock said yesterday the government is targeting almost ubiquitous WiFi overage on trains by 2020, but it’s just not happening.”