The Sleeper's Blog

13.05.16

Free station wi-fi: shouldn’t we all have it by now?

Passengers on Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) can now browse the internet on free wi-fi at 105 of the operator’s stations.

The service, provided by O2, is available on Southern, Thameslink, Great Northern and Gatwick Express routes, all of which are owned by GTR.

Charles Horton, GTR CEO, said: “There’s no advertising and no catch – just free unlimited  wi-fi for whoever logs on at 105 of our stations.”

Free wi-fi is available on some routes with a number of operators, most recently South West Trains introduced it on more than half its rolling stock.

David Cameron has committed to introducing free wi-fi across the south and Wales, but the north still lags behind somewhat. Arriva have promised to introduce it as part of their improvements when they took over the Northern franchise, but this might not be available until 2018.

TPE has also introduced free wi-fi at Huddersfield, Manchester Airport, Middlesbrough, Selby, Stalybridge and Warrington Central stations, but the uneven distribution of wifi between the north and south seems incompatible with the government’s commitment to the Northern Powerhouse.

In the modern world, internet connection isn’t a frivolous distraction, but a necessity for work, education and communication. It’s vital that Britain’s railway network adapts to the 21st century by ensuring its passengers can get online.

(Image c. GTR)

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