Qld to build Wi-Fi into trains

Qld to build Wi-Fi into trains

Summary: The Queensland Government has outlined plans to offer a Wi-Fi service on the state's trains as part of a roll-out of real-time security monitoring technology.

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The Queensland Government has outlined plans to offer a Wi-Fi service on the state's trains as part of a roll-out of real-time security monitoring technology.

The state has conducted a trial of the technology on the Gold Coast line network and plans to go to tender in July for a system to blanket the Citytrain network, including stations, according to a statement issued by Transport Minister Rachel Nolan over the weekend.

"People travelling to work with their laptops will be able to rely on a strong signal which means they can read the paper online, receive and send emails or simply surf their favourite sites," she said.

The security initiative will see the government provide live links from security cameras on trains to a central control room that will allow police and rail personnel to respond to incidents.

"Currently, there are more than 6000 security cameras covering trains, stations and car parks on the Citytrain network," said Nolan. "The cameras on trains are capable of recording illegal activities, giving police the evidence they need to catch and prosecute offenders, but they are not able to be monitored live.

"Now police and security guards will be able to monitor travellers on trains, and any incidents, in real time over a wireless network."

The South Australian State Government is planning a similar roll-out on its bus network.

Topics: Networking, Government, Government AU, Privacy, Wi-Fi

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12 comments
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  • If we had this in NSW...

    i would actually catch the train again. The trip from Central to Chatswood is so full of tunnels and holes that I cant do anything fun.

    Besides reading a book.. but really.. who does that anymore?
    anonymous
  • Sketchy details

    However, they seem to be flipping back and forth on the matter of whether it will be free for commuters or not.

    There is also the odd comment about some "firewall" they plan to use to prevent people living near stations and train lines from stealing free wi-fi.

    How they plan to block the house next door to the station but permit the commuter sitting on the platform is going to be interesting.
    anonymous
  • RE: Sketchy details

    My guess is that it will be a paid service, much the same as that of the Yawagara CityCat which provides wireless internet access via UQconnect.
    anonymous
  • Easy!

    That's simple. One MAC address connected to the same AP for more than 60 minutes is unlikely to be a commuter waiting for a train to arrive.
    anonymous
  • Central to Chatswood

    I used to catch that line every day and it sucked. I remember we got stuck in a tunnel once for so long (bad signalling error) that people started trying to break out. Good times, good times.

    Renai
    News Editor
    ZDNet.com.au
    anonymous
  • Free

    I haven't seen any mention of it being free yet.

    Cheers,

    Renai LeMay
    News Editor
    ZDNet.com.au
    anonymous
  • Not so fast.

    "One MAC address connected to the same AP for more than 60 minutes is unlikely to be a commuter waiting for a train to arrive."

    No, they're likely to be a commuter stuck on a train waiting to be rescued. :P
    anonymous
  • confusion reigns

    Hey Renai

    This was reported in Sunday Mail in Brisbane, then followed in Monday's Courier Mail, but Qld Transport still don't seem to know themselves what it is they're offering...

    Apparently it's not even wi-fi. Hoping transport reporter going to clear that up on Wednesday.

    btw, I work at CM :)
    anonymous
  • It might not happen

    I remember the NSW Government promising us free WiFi in Sydney, North Sydney and Parramatta before the last election. After the election they said "too hard, too expensive", like the umpteen heavy rail and metro promises they have made.

    I understand that the WA Government made a similar WiFi promise and recently renegged on it. Will QLD voters be subject to the same or will they actually end up getting it? How will the signal go from the train to the Internet? Will the connection be reliable enough for sending and receiving mail? - a service requiring a longer connection to a server than HTTP.
    anonymous
  • hahaha

    I used to work in the IT dept in QR and over the course of 2 years there were two worms go through the system and one "major" virus do the rounds, so-much-so that any new PC which wasn't fully patched was infected within 60 seconds of being put on the network.

    And now Joe Q Public are going to be accessing wirelessly. Great. I'd love to see the QR disclaimer for this. "QR network even less reliable than the actual train service." hahaha
    anonymous
  • Great

    This will be great if it goes ahead. But I'll believe it when i see it.....
    anonymous
  • re: easy

    It's trivial to change your MAC address, even script it to change every 20 minutes.

    I hope they use enough tech that people can just use their GO card number as their wifi key, and that key gets enabled when you 'tag on' and disabled when you 'tag off'.

    Of course, having to type such a long key everytime will make people just use their 3G instead, unless their phone can store the password/key for every connection each day.
    anonymous