Monday, June 09, 2014

Amtrak pursues NEC WiFi upgrade

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Amtrak seeks to improve and upgrade its WiFI coverage along the Northeast Corridor, and has issued a Request for Proposals to implement such action.

Suppliers interested in the upgrade, labeled Contract No. DOC45231, are expected to reply by July 28, 2014.

On its website, Amtrak states, "Please note that a pre-proposal conference and site visit is scheduled for Wednesday, June 18, 2014, commencing at 8:30 a.m. It is mandatory that any offeror who is interested in attending must register for the pre-proposal conference or site visit."

High demand, combined with spotty and sometimes slow response time, have generated criticism of Amtrak WiFi offerings on the Northeast Corridor, with service gaps occurring at relatively remote locations along NEC right-of-way.

Amtrak seeks to redress this by building its own wireless network, at first offering Internet speed as fast as 25 Mbps per car, improving to 100 Mbps by 2019, according to the National Association of Railroad Passengers (NARP).

More information on the RFP can be found here.

Late last year Amtrak launched an effort to provide AmtrakConnect® cellular-based 4G Wi-Fi service to its Chicago Hub Services trains in the Midwest.