Silicon.com today reports that UK train operator GNER is scheduled to complete its wi-fi roll-out nine months early; ten trains on the East Coast Mainline service are already equipped with the service. Given the cost of most rail journeys, I had hoped that GNER might offer the service free to all passengers (it could make a critical differentiation, if it did), but, according to GNER’s mobile office pages, the service is only free for First Class passengers. Standard Class users will have to pay from £2.95 for 30 minutes, up to £9.95 for a three-hour session.
Presumably other train operators will be following suit (particularly where they face competition from airlines: BAA is rolling out wi-fi in its UK airports – see previous Silicon.com story). In the past fortnight, I have used Virgin to travel up to Manchester (no wi-fi but at least its table seats were equipped with power sockets to plug in my laptop) and Great Western to go to Bristol (no wi-fi, no power socket, and – coming back – crumbs all over the table).