Prorail starts trial Internet service

10th February 2009, Comments 0 comments

For the coming two months you can Internet for free from Groningen to Leeuwarden, and back.

GRONINGEN—If you’ve occasion to ride Prorail trains between Groningen and Leeuwarden in the coming two months, don’t forget your laptop. KPN and Arriva, the transport company that operates Prorail, is offering two months of free Internet surfing en route. If the trial is a success, KPN will start its experiment in other parts of the country. A total of 75 passengers can get a connection on each train at any given time.

The primary function of the network is to provide better security in stations, and along the railway lines, where cameras have been installed. Internet is a mere byproduct of this network. KPN hasn’t ruled out the possibility that it will charge customers for the connection in the future. According to KPN spokesperson Simone Boitelle the network didn’t involve a large investment.

The Dutch railway company Nederlandse Spoorwegen (NS) and KPN conducted an experiment with Internet service on NS trains two years ago, only to abandon the project citing high costs.

The high-speed rail Thalys, operating from Amsterdam to Paris, offers free WiFi broadband to its first-class customers, and the same service for a small fee to second-class passengers.

The Arriva trial went into effect Monday afternoon. Access on other Arriva lines in Delfzijl, Harlingen and Dordrecht, for example, could follow sometime this year if the trial period proves successful.

Radio Netherlands/Lila Lundquist/Expatica

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