back to article UK is first class for train Wi-Fi in Europe

On-train wireless internet connectivity is growing fast in Europe - but even faster in the UK, which now has more than 2,000 Wi-Fi equipped carriages. This supposedly makes passengers far more productive during their waking hours, much to the annoyance of rail operator HS2. Tech consultancy BWCS has been looking at the …

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Anonymous Coward

Re: You must work for HS2

"How about spending a small part of this money on providing FTTH, allowing more people to work from home and eliminating some of the need to shuttle between London and Birmingham?"

First thing that comes to mind is because luddite bosses won't let you work from home and second is that some people just cannot be trusted to get work done. I, like others here, work in IT on the development side. No overpowering need to be in the office more than 1 or 2 times per week. 5 times or nothing is the requirement, with the nothing being P45.

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cost

And if it didn't cost £40 a month on virgin trains it might be useful ...

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Silver badge

First Great Western

Is there WiFi on any of FGW's trains? Or is this another service they've neglected - along with customer service, punctuality, sufficient trains and new rolling stock?

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FAIL

Enhanced 3G my arse

Travelled Birmingham to Euston twice last week on Virgin Trains. Both times the label by my seat said "enhanced mobile reception on this train". Both times I lost my connection (Three network USB dongle) in every tunnel.

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Stop

Not sure you can really call HS2 a 'Rail Operator' yet, as it hasn't even got permission to build the track to operate on!

South West Trains have just announced a roll-out of Wifi to their Class 444 'long-distance' fleet, but not the Class 450 outer-suburban stock.

This would make sense, except they tend to chop and change between the two types on some lines. Class 450s are used as far as Portsmouth in the peaks (surely when there'd be most demand for wi-fi) , and they even occasionally make it all the way to Weymouth!

What would be useful is having reliable free wifi in the London Terminals. Trying to get a 3G signal on GiffGaff (O2) in the evening peak is nigh on impossible, because the networks are simply swamped by all the commuters doing the same.

Even worse if you are trying to look up train information during disruption (when you can get better info form Twitter or the National Rail app than the staff or screens at the station!)

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Anonymous Coward

Free wifi in UK is a Joke

I just returned to the UK from my current life in the far east, where free wifi means you just have to ask for a password.

Everywhere i went in the UK that was public wanted a credit card to get 30 mins of free wifi.

Has the ASDA 'forever' bug hit the rest of the UK,

The only place that i found was free was a weatherspoons pub which offered "the cloud" which only required an email to get 30 mins fee.

Also wifi is pretty sparse in the UK compared to over here where almost every bar / shop / train station / tube station etc etc has free wifi.

Tap yourselves on the back UK for being up there with Germany, but really Europe is still down in the toilet when it comes to competition in tech.

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Work not possible without WiFi?

Whilst there are activities which require Internet connectivity (like email), reviewing documents, writing documents, changing project plans, creating drawings, coding, etc. are all things which can be done with a little forward planning and not internet connection.

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Anonymous Coward

not South West trains it isnt

For reading email, 3G connectivity isn't bad from a train in the UK,"

Has the article writer ever used the train from Portsmouth to Waterloo - even within spitting distance of teh capaital on either O2 or Vodi the signal is pathetic at best, whether it be on Blackberry, iPhone, Ipad or Laptop....

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The suggestion about wifi on trains making HS2 unnecessary is bogus. Passenger numbers on trains are rising, the network is running over capacity for much of the time. There are only so many carriages full of wifi swilling, pasty eating, self-loading freight that can fit down a railway track in a given time.

The main requirement for HS2 is to rebuild capacity into the network, much of which was taken away in the Beeching Years, because it wasn't just branch lines that were cut, the main lines, such as the Great Central Railway, along whose route HS2 is due to follow in part.

And so, if you're (re-)building a brand new railway track, as an engineer, you'd at least try to build it to modern standards, and capable of high speeds.

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