Better broadband on planes, trains, boats and coaches... and about time

22 January 2014

fast train If you've ever travelled on a boat, train, coach or plane, you'll know that getting on the internet is a chore. Paying for a dicky connection, wrestling with a dongle or relying on 3/4G, you find connections cutting out in remote areas or generally not being reliable enough to get enough work done/watch enough videos of amusing cats.

Well, that's about to change, with Ofcom saying that there's going to be a tenfold increase of broadband speeds after the regulator gave the green light to the use of satellite broadband receivers.

Vehicles can now mount something called 'earth station antennas' which means we'll be getting offered speeds (of up to) 10Mbps. This is coming about because of advances in earth station antenna technology, which make it easier to provide better data speeds, even when the technology is coupled to a fast moving vehicle.

"We want travellers to benefit from superfast broadband on the move at the kind of speeds they expect from their connection at home,” said Philip Marnick, group director of spectrum at Ofcom. "Today’s decision means that operators of trains, boats and planes will soon be able to begin the process of making these valuable services available to their passengers."

"Devices that are mounted on land-based vehicles, such as trains, will be made exempt from the need for a spectrum licence altogether. Earth stations mounted on aircraft or ships will need to be licensed by Ofcom, as these vehicles are capable of crossing into other countries’ jurisdictions."

TOPICS:   Technology   Travel

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