Government spends Network Rail fine cash on faster Wi-Fi for trains

Trains will be kitted out with Wi-Fi that’s 10 times faster than what’s currently available on the railways under plans for a £90million investment in on-board wireless broadband for train commuters…

If you've ever tried using the Wi-Fi on trains, you'll know that although it's often the only way of getting online when you're whizzing through the countryside on two rails, it's neither the most reliable service nor the most impressive in terms of speed.

This could be about to change, however, as the government's announced plans to spend £90million on improving the Wi-Fi on commuter trains in England and Wales, according to BBC News.

It'll be partly funded by a record-breaking £53million fine handed to Network Rail, which looks after many of Britain's stations and much of its tracks and signalling, for missing punctuality targets.

The new Wi-Fi service could as much as 10 times faster than what you can get at the moment, and should be available within the next four years.

It'll be provided on commuter routes into London from Bedford, Brighton, Kent and Portsmouth, as well as trains running into Sheffield, Manchester and Leeds.

Currently, Wi-Fi on trains is normally powered by satellite broadband - an adequate but not exactly brilliant technology, mostly used to provide an internet connection in remote rural areas where it's difficult to provide normal broadband.

The government's plan is to install new Wi-Fi equipment along the tracks, starting with the most crowded 30% of the train network, which carries roughly 70% of all passengers.

This is further good news if you need to be connected when you commute - in May, mobile network EE revealed it plans to offer superfast 4G mobile internet along commuter routes as part of the next phase of its roll-out.

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