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ScotRail Expands its FREE WiFi Service to 25 Railway Stations in Scotland

Tuesday, May 14th, 2013 (1:33 pm) - Score 945
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ScotRail preps expanded plans to roll-out a free wifi service to all 38 of its class 380 trains and at 25 railway stations across Scotland by spring 2014. Just make sure to avoid any “bandwidth heavy” websites.

The effort represents an expansion of their existing work, which is supported by more than £1 million of Scottish Government funding. Under the current scheme some 59 of ScotRail’s class 170 trains are already in the process of having a free wireless internet service installed and this is due to complete by December 2013.

Keith Brown, Scottish Transport Minister, said:

In 2014, the eyes of the world will be on Scotland and we have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to showcase what we have to offer as a modern country.

I am pleased that in advance of the major events taking place in 2014, visitors flying into Prestwick and Glasgow International airports, who then join the rail network, will be able to get access to wi-fi on every train.

Combined with the station enhancements, this will help keep Scotland’s railways at the forefront of wi-fi installation.”

According to the BBC, it will cost around £250k to fit free wifi in the franchises primary railway stations. Further stations are expected to receive wifi in future.

The 25 FREE WiFi Railway Stations
Aberdeen
Anniesland
Ayr
Dalmarnock
Dundee
Dunfermline Town
Edinburgh Haymarket
Edinburgh Park
Exhibition Centre
Falkirk High
Fort William
Glasgow Central
Glasgow Queen Street
Helensburgh Central
Inverness
Kilmarnock
Kirkcaldy
Linlithgow
Mount Florida
Paisley Gilmour Street
Partick
Perth
Stirling
Wemyss Bay

Last year a survey conducted by ScotRail revealed that 77% of those who used one of the groups trial trains with wifi enabled were satisfied with the services internet speed and performance. All trains that have wi-fi will also be marked by stickers on the windows.

In terms of free wifi on the trains themselves. A special router will be mounted in the roof space in the middle vehicle, close to the external antennae, which works by connecting to the major phone networks simultaneously and splitting the available bandwidth across the networks at any given moment. As a result there will still be periods of poor or no access.

Similarly ScotRail warns that its service is really only intended for basic use and thus commuters are already being encouraged to “avoid sites that are bandwidth heavy” as these could “reduce availability for everyone else“. Websites and internet content that are deemed to be of an “adult-theme” will also be blocked.

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Mark Jackson
By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on Twitter, , Facebook and Linkedin.
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