When you're travelling across the country by train, there's nothing worse than dealing with the fact you don't have phone signal. Sure you can get wi-fi onboard, but it costs £4 for a couple of hours and doesn't even work 75 per cent of the time. Well a new government initiative is looking to sort this out, helping us all get better mobile signal on Britain's increasingly overpriced rail system.
In short, the plan involves installing fibre optic cables around tracks, offering gigabit speeds and ensuring a smooth consistent signal for train travellers trying to work or send GIFs to their friends. It also includes increasing the number of masts around train lines, boosting reception in former black spots and drastically improving the mobile infrastructure by 2025.
The plans are now entering a consultancy phase, which means its not just an idea some MP just dreamed up that won't get implemented or seriously considered until after the next three general elections. The government's been betting big on having Britain as a global leader in communications technology, so making sure the transit systems are adequately connected is a big step forward.
Digital minister Matt Hancock said:
“We want people to be able to get connected where they live, work and travel.
This means improving connections on Britain’s railways now, and making sure they are fit for the future. We’ve got a long way to travel but our destination is world-class signal for passengers. This will not only make journeys more enjoyable and productive, but will help improve the operation and safety of the railway and deliver economic benefits for the whole of the UK."
Now if only the government could solve the problems of trains being expensive and consistently shit, that'd be great. It's all well and good being able to watch Netflix in the middle of Oxfordshire, but it's meaningless if you're crammed into an overheated train carriage that smells like stale death and cheap disinfectant. [IT Pro Portal]