Oh Sorry, Train Wi-Fi Set to Stay Rubbish For Ever, Says Government

By Gary Cutlack on at

A previous promise by the government to make train delays exciting by improving Wi-Fi connections has been pretty much abandoned, so it's back to a patchwork approach of free and "free" options with only a vague committment to ask transport companies to try to get their speeds up to one megabit a second.

The crunch has been caused by the wording of a government request to new bidders of rail franchises. It was initially put that all franchise winners would have a requirement to offer a free Wi-Fi service of a fast speed across their footprints, and that promising this would need to be part of any winning bid.

Which sounds fine, until digital policy minister Matt Hancock revealed the actual meaning of what his department considers to be "fast" in a parliamentary debate, saying that a 1Mbps speed per passenger is all that's really required for basic web use, the posting of photos of sad sandwiches, and sharing images of blurry gardens.

Perhaps Mr Hancock should get Westminster's internet capped at 1Mbps if that's all that's needed to survive. Would save a few quid. [Guardian]

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