The benefits of Internet "on-the-go"…

Posted: June 6, 2008 in broadband, mobile, train, wifi

In the recent weeks I have blogged about Internet access (or rather the lack off) on Irish trains on two occasions (here and here). One of the results of my posts was that i was contacted by the people behind the popular Irish radio-show “The Last Word” on Today FM. It was supposed to be a discussion between Barry Kenny, the spokesperson for Irish Rail, and myself. You can listen to it in this section of the show. Barry Kenny basically explained that Irish Rail would not install or offer public wifi access in Irish trains because of the costs involved and because there was no revenue benefit in it for them. When I replied that we would install and manage the service at no cost to Irish Rail he still wasn’t very interested. Also in spite of agreeing to set up a meeting I still have not heard from them. However this issue is not over as we are working on several approaches to convince Irish Rail of the importance of this service.

In light of all this I came across a very interesting posts on today.
The CTIA (Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association)an US based organisation ahs done research that has indicated that in the US being able to access the Internet on-the-go is expected to generate $860 billion in additional gross domestic product in the next decade! That’s $86 billion per year….
Now I do not see why a these kind of statistics would not apply to Ireland. off course the figures would be lower but the revenue per capita would be the same.

The health care sector and small businesses are the big winners of wireless broadband deployments, says the CTIA. In 2005, productivity improvements due to use of mobile broadband solutions across the U.S. health care industry were valued at almost $6.9 billion. By 2016, that number will triple to $27.2 billion.
Al this contributes to my arguments in favour of putting wifi on Irish trains:
– Increased ticket sales for Irish rail.
– Increased services for passengers.
– Less traffic on Irish roads leasing to lower pollution and less accidents.
– Increased productivity of train travellers.

There are probably even more arguments but these four should really be enough to convince Irish rail…


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