Don't want HS2? How about HSI? Govt. promises high speed internet on trains
1st Oct 2013 | 21:54
4G-like speeds planned for commuters
The High Speed 2 rail line may have garnered most of the trail-focused headlines in recent weeks, but the government is also looking to add extra zip to our on-board internet activities, it was announced this week.
If the Conservative Party's plans come to fruition, the majority of the UK's rail network will benefit from speedy 50Mbps connectivity, via Wi-Fi or 4G LTE, by the time 2019 rolls around.
The scheme, announced by transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin on Monday, will focus on bringing faster speeds to the busiest 30 of journeys before moving out to areas blighted by poor mobile signal.
Network Rail, who'll strategically place towers along the lines in order to facilitate the speed boost, is scheduled to announce partnerships with network providers next month.
"There are few things more frustrating than trying to phone a friend or access the internet, only to be thwarted by bad signal," said McLoughlin, when revealing the plans.
"Be it hardworking commuters preparing for the day on their journey into work or leisure travellers making final plans for their weekend away, today's announcement marks the beginning of the end of poor coverage on our railways," he added.
He's right too. The Wi-Fi connectivity offered by existing train providers like Virgin is patchy and expensive at the best of times. Performing general productivity tasks can be difficult and as for streaming media? Forget about it. It seems like help is on the way, but it's a good six years away yet.