The UK’s rail industry is planning to roll out high-speed mobile broadband to the majority of passengers by 2019, the Department for Transport has announced.
Under the plans – which will not receive any government funding – 70 percent of rail travellers will benefit from faster broadband by 2019, with passengers expected to begin noticing the improvements in 2015. The government revealed it was having discussions with railway operator Network Rail to improve connectivity on trains earlier this year.
Network Rail is modernising its fibre optics along lines and train operators will fit new equipment to improve the signal within carriages.
“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,” said Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin.
A Network Rail spokesman added: “As an industry, we recognise that the limited availability of mobile communications on Britain’s rail network is not good enough. If rail is to remain a preferred mode of transport, this must be addressed, which is why today’s announcement is good news for the millions of people who travel by train each day.”