THE UK GOVERNMENT has announced plans to deliver high-speed mobile broadband to Britain's rail network by 2019.
Transport Minister Partrick McLouglin unveiled the plans on Monday, pledging that 70 percent of UK commuters will benefit from the new technology within six years, with passengers to see improved wireless service by the end of 2015. Network Rail will fund the project, and though it the company will soon begin work to increase the number of trackside mobile masts and signal boosters on train carriages.
Details of the plan have not been revealed, but The Independent reported that the plan is to bring 4G services to the UK rail network with the aim to offer passengers mobile broadband speeds up to 50Mbps. It also reported that the high-speed broadband service will be delivered to train passengers for free, although this has yet to be confirmed.
McLoughlin said that improving signal quality is vital for the UK, bemoaning the poor broadband availability found on UK rail services.
"There are few things more frustrating than trying to phone a friend or access the internet, only to be thwarted by bad signal. Passengers deserve to have the best mobile technology and that is why I am pleased that industry is coming together to make that a reality," he said.
"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."
Network Rail told The INQUIRER that it was unable to comment on specific routes that will benefit from broadband coverage, but it's likely that we'll hear more over the next few months. µ