Virgin Media has started to turn customer Super Hubs into public Wi-Fi hotspots as part of its efforts to expand its public Wi-Fi network beyond its agreement.
At the moment Virgin Media customers are able to take advantage of an agreement with The Cloud as well as the company’s own public Wi-Fi hotspots in places like the London Underground.
Virgin Media first announced its plans for this expansion back in 2015 but this is the first sign of it being rolled out. At the moment only SuperHub v3 routers are being used and customers who own these hubs are being alerted that the change is happening via email.
Virgin Media is opting the thousands of customers currently using these SuperHubs in automatically but is giving them the chance to opt out if they wish. Considering a large number of hotspots will be required to make the network in any way convenient, it’s not surprising that Virgin has decided to make the scheme opt out.
In an FAQ section for the service, Virgin Media has said this change will have absolutely no impact on the bandwidth of its customers’ Wi-Fi as “Virgin Media WiFi uses a separate connection on your Hub to access the internet than the one used by your home broadband network.”
This separate connection also means that customers won’t have to worry about the security of their personal data, with Virgin promising that “the broadband connection you pay for is exclusively yours, and just as secure“ as the data from their home network is kept completely separate from the Virgin Media Wi-Fi traffic.
The scheme is similar to the one rolled out by BT called ‘BT Wi-Fi with FON’ as it uses customer hubs and other customers are able to take advantage of it free of charge.
However, where BT allows non-BT customers to connect to the public Wi-Fi for a charge, Virgin is only making its service available to subscribers paying for its TV, broadband or mobile phone services.
If you’re a Virgin Media customer and you want to start taking advantage of the scheme, you simply have to download the Virgin Media Wi-Fi app for iOS and Android.
The SuperHub v3 roll out is expected to be completed later this year, after which Virgin is planning to begin switching over its Super Hub 2ac routers in order to grow the network further.
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Emma Boyle is TechRadar’s ex-Gaming Editor, and is now a content developer and freelance journalist. She has written for magazines and websites including T3, Stuff and The Independent. Emma currently works as a Content Developer in Edinburgh.