updated 07:05 am EDT, Tue June 10, 2014
Bids requested by Amtrack to test Wi-Fi improvement feasibility
Amtrak is looking to increase the on-board Wi-Fi service on some of its trains running on the east coast of the United States. The company is soliciting bids for a "proof-of-concept" project for bolstering its Wi-Fi service, with the ultimate aim of providing a "high-capacity, broadband-speed Internet connection" for trains running between Washington and Boston.
At present, on-board Wi-Fi runs at a slow 10Mbps speed per train, shared among all passengers, with service blackspots in some areas. The eventual goal is to increase bandwidth to a minimum of 25Mbps per train, "scalable to even faster speeds as technology advances," with the test project helping Amtrak determine if it is technically and financially viable to build it out across the entire 457-mile Northeast Corridor.
"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," said Amtrak Chief Marketing and Sales Officer Matt Hardison. "We want to make that possible."