Laptops in the Tube

Here’s an interesting trend: I am seeing more and more laptop usage in the Tube these days. To the New-Yorker in me, it would be unthinkable to get out my laptop and start typing away on any kind of public transport — the rest of the passengers in the car would start fighting over who got to keep your hard drive. But hey — this is London and people are little more polite I guess. Anyway it got me thinking about how to bring WIFI connectivity underground. I figure you could do it with a kind of wireless mesh network set up in the tunnels. The Tube drivers know when to stop and go because of signal lights that are placed set distances from each other along the track. You could put a network node on each signal light and voilá — ubiquitous connectivity underground. I wonder if this could be done with “off-the-shelf” equipment?

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1 Comment on “Laptops in the Tube

  1. I want this now :)

    I tend to pick up variable WiFi connectivity along the district line run in the morning. Especially around Barons Court. It’s not usable and this would be great. It’s a better idea than GSM access on the tube and would be a lot quieter than people shouting “I’m on the tube!”.

    It might hamper my work though, currently the tube is one of the few places where I have none of usual web distractions distract – new messages popping in, RSS updated etc. This means I can focus clearly on the task at hand

    There would be an added advantage – the security services could be equipped with VOIP phones and so finally have something that works underground :)

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