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You’ll soon be able to use your phone on the tube & that’s a terrible idea isn’t it

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Dave Fawbert
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Why does technology always assume that things need improving? It’s the unquestionable principle of it: always forward; always improving; always better.

But you know what, I was happy with my iPhone 4. It worked fine. I was happy with my Amiga 500+ to be quite honest. And was life so bad before the internet came along? Actually yes, because shortlist.com didn’t exist then so obviously it was terrible.

But, aside from that last one, another thing which is just fine and which doesn’t need changing is the level of mobile phone service on the tube. That is – very little. You can get the occasional snatch of data while you’re briefly sat on a platform – enough to load up a few lolsome tweets to scroll through - and it’s not as if your phone doesn’t work; you can still listen to downloaded tunes or play a game, or y’know, just take some time to chill out and… relax.

Sadly though, ‘technology’ (and TfL and Sadiq Khan) have decided that we simply must be connected all the bloody time, and are set to invite bids from telecoms companies after next week’s general election to provide mobile phone signal on the Underground.

The technology exists already, with commuters in New York, Seoul, Berlin, Tokyo and Paris all able to use the full range of their phone’s services on the subway for several years now, but London has never made the move – until now.

TfL said: “We are keen to offer full mobile phone coverage for our customers. The introduction of this would need to be commercially viable and would follow engagement with staff and customers.”

The Financial Times reports on lots of companies eager to get involved but honestly, please, don’t do this. It’s already bad enough being packed in like sardines in a heat furnace. The last thing we need is Oscar the city worker braying about the ‘massive deal’ that’s just gone down in his ‘sector’.

(Image: iStock)

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Dave Fawbert

ShortList.com staff writer Dave’s primary passions are pop, prose, punning and power ballads (and alliteration). A lower division football enthusiast and long-suffering cricket fan, he is one of only 110 people followed on Twitter by Chas Hodges from Chas ‘n’ Dave. Follow Dave on Twitter like Chas: @davefawbert

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