Digital

Amtrak Wi-Fi upgrade will not solve passenger woes

Excerpt from The Atlantic Wire

Jan 11, 2013 1:25 pm

Skift Take

Anyone who has used in-flight Wi-Fi knows it can have spottiness issues, too, but Amtrak’s challenges are even greater.

— Dennis Schaal

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John M.  / Flickr.com

Amtrak hopes this Wi-Fi notice from 2010, warning passengers to avoid streaming video, becomes an outdated concern with its new 4G service. John M. / Flickr.com


Amtrak has announced plans to test an upgrade of its notoriously inconsistent onboard Wi-Fi to faster 4G networks, but because the fix still uses Wi-Fi from a wireless company on a moving train, the best commuters can hope for is very fast Internet… very occasionally.

For now, the updated Wi-Fi only runs on Acela routes from Washington, D.C. to New York to Boston. But even for those lab-rat commuters, a new kind of network doesn’t solve Amtrak’s biggest Wi-Fi problem: spottiness. As anyone who has upgraded from a 3G to 4G LTE cellphone knows, the network switch provides a huge boost in download and uploads speeds. But speed isn’t Amtrak’s issue, ultimately, so you can expect all that Twitter complaining to continue.

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