The Government of Canada and VIA Rail Canada announced today that Nomad Digital has been selected to enhance Wi-Fi service for customers on VIA’s Ontario – Quebec Corridor passenger trains. Under the five-year, $6.3 million contract, Nomad will design, install, operate, and maintain the Wi-Fi infrastructure for VIA Rail, which will keep passengers connected and entertained throughout their journey.
The federal government is providing capital funding for this project, including $3 million through its Economic Action Plan. “Reliable mobile internet access has become an essential part of daily life for many Canadians, especially for business travellers,” said the Honourable Rob Merrifield, Canada’s Minister of State (Transport). “This is an important step in ensuring that Canada’s passenger rail service responds to their needs.” VIA president Marc Laliberté noted that “VIA was one of the first passenger services in North America to provide on-board Wi-Fi access to customers. Now we are upgrading that service with the latest wireless technologies, higher network speeds and a consistent broadband connection. This means that passengers will soon be able to enjoy feature films, television series and documentaries from the comfort of their seats, using their own laptops, for their entire trip.”
Nomad’s wireless technology has been extensively tested in the Corridor since the spring of 2010. When it is fully implemented, the infrastructure will allow VIA to offer additional value-added services to customers, such as on-board entertainment, and provide a wireless platform for VIA’s on-train personnel.
Design and installation of the enhanced service will commence shortly and continue through much of 2011.Nigel Wallbridge, Nomad’s Executive Chairman, said: “This is another significant milestone for us in the North American market. In a few short years, on-train Wi-Fi has become the norm for rail operators and Nomad’s systems are proving to be the preferred solution to deliver a first class service on all types of routes. We are committed to ensuring that VIA’s customers will enjoy the best possible Wi-Fi experience while travelling by train.”