Amtrak launching high-speed WiFi


Remember the days of travel when airplanes didn’t allow you to turn on your cellular device for fear it could mess up the pilots signal?  Those days have since faded to the inclusion of WiFi on flights as a service offered with an additional fee.  Amtrak is now making WiFi more of an integral part of the train riding experience as well.

Currently, trains in the northeast United States experience WiFi speeds near 10 mbps.  Amtrak is looking to make that a thing of the past.  In a 457 mile stretch, spanning from Boston through New York to Washington, D.C., Amtrak is looking to add high speed WiFi boosting speeds to no lower than 25 mbps.

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Although nothing is yet in place, a bidding process has gotten underway and Amtrak is looking for the best company to help them get the plans in place.  Their goal, according to Mashable, is to have the plans laid out to be put into effect with a “possible construction of a test program in Winter 2014/2015.”

Currently, Amtrak allows riders to connect to their WiFi network, but unfortunately the service is limited.   The usage guidelines on Amtrak’s website state, “Our Wi-Fi does not support high-bandwidth actions such as streaming music, streaming video or downloading large files.”

The goal of the WiFi network is to allow advanced functionality to riders of Amtrak’s trains.

Matt Hardison, Amtrak’s chief marketing and sales officer had this to say in a statement:

"“We know that our customers want a consistently reliable and fast on-board Wi-Fi experience — something we cannot guarantee today on our busiest trains when hundreds of customers want to go online at the same time — and we want to make that possible.”"

While train travel is not the most efficient in today’s day and age, it is still widely accessed and creating a better experience will always be the goal of a company in terms of its users.  Amtrak looks to put its best foot forward in the coming months.