The government has announced plans to equip UK trainlines with speedy internet access, with overall costs estimated to amount to £90 million.
Internet access is about to be added to major commuter trainlines across England and Wales, with passengers travelling on the busiest routes to be connected first.
The plan is to offer Wi-Fi speeds around 10 times faster than that currently available on main train routes.
With costs estimated to top £90 million, access to the new Wi-Fi service should be free for passengers, but won’t arrive for another three or four years.
“We all know how frustrating it can be to have our phones calls and internet use constantly disrupted by poor signal when travelling on trains,” said transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin. “At the moment it happens to often. Passengers expect and deserve better and with these plans, that is what they’ll get.”
Routes into London from Kent, Brighton, Bedford and Portsmouth along with services into Leeds, Sheffield and Manchester are expected to be the first to be upgraded to the new speedier Wi-Fi.
“The coalition government is working hard to build a stronger economy and fairer society,” said Lady Kramer, a transport minister. “Today’s announcement that we are proving free Wi-Fi on trains means people can more easily work and keep up with friends while on journeys.”
Apparently, part of the funding for the upgrade is expected to come from the multi-million pound penalty to be imposed on Network Rail for missing punctuality targets.
“As well as steps we have already taken to make train travel as affordable and efficient as possible, we hope free Wi-Fi will encourage even more people to make the greener choice and travel by train.”
Read more: Best laptops 2014