Puff your hardest. Broadband on trains might actually occur “soon”

I shouldn’t really say broadband should I? I mean, any sort of stable connectivity would be a start. Perhaps even the ability to make a call that lasts more than 20 seconds? That’d be good.

Today the Department for Transport has announced that 70% of rail passengers will have access to “high speed broadband” by…. errr… 2019.


Yes. 2019. Everything Everywhere plan to have 70% of the population bathed on 4G by the end of this year (roughly a year after starting), but it’s going to take nearly 6 years for Network Rail to cover 70% of their passengers with data connectivity.

Puff your hardest. Broadband on trains might actually occur soon

Currently, unless you’re traveling on a Virgin train with a cell booster, getting any sort of anything is hit and miss. Those who are crammed in the two standard-class carriages (whilst eight first class carriages remain empty) have to make do with playing Angry Birds.

Network Rail are currently implementing a £1.9 billion digital communications network which will be capable of handling up to 192000 Gbps next year. In-train boosters will then allow more bandwidth per passenger. Mobile networks and Network Rail will be working together to implement the solution.

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  • the_prof

    I’d love to know a bit more about this. Whatever happens, it’ll take too long, cost too much, and somehow none of the TOCs will pay for any of it, and it’ll be funded in its entirety by the government, while the TOCs continue to whack up the prices so much that anyone who commutes to work by train has to pay 90% of their salary in train fares after tax.

    The Virgin trains Internet access isn’t all that great considering the price of it, unless you’re in First that is. It’s a little stronger than the average phone 3G, but then again it’s only a 3G connection anyway, just with a better antenna and a few more lines.

    I worked for a company a few years back who had developed a method of transmitting large amounts of data through power lines and powered and unpowered train tracks. The original idea was that this could help some of the developing countries have internet access in more remote parts of their respective countries. Not a bad idea – but then wouldn’t it be a brilliant idea for us to use actually ON the trains?

    • Gears

      Perhaps it’s just me, but I’ve been seeing a lot of mobile masts appearing near train lines recently, but with the masts actually directed up and down the track. I don’t know quite what they do, because my mobile signal in a train is no better!