A note about the free Wireless Internet on UTA FrontRunner service from UTA:
FrontRunner WiFi Service Embraced by Riders
UTA sees over a thousand people a day using wireless aboard FrontRunner
The Utah Transit Authority is pleased to announce FrontRunner commuter rail riders are using the onboard wireless internet (WiFi) service in record numbers. The average number of riders connecting to the WiFi service is more than 1,000 per day, or approximately one in nine passengers. FrontRunner WiFi service is free for all riders.
"It's easy to walk through the train during a rush hour trip and see dozens of riders using laptops to catch up on work, read e-mail, or browse the Internet," said UTA Chief Technology Officer Clair Fiet. "Its popularity has exceeded our expectations."
UTA provides WiFi service as an added benefit to attract riders away from their cars and onto public transit. "Instead of spending their time behind the wheel in traffic, our riders are able to use the time more productively," Fiet said. "We've even heard stories of companies who allow their employees to 'clock in' as soon as they board, because they are able to get so much work done during their commute."
To connect to the service, FrontRunner riders should look for the "UTA_WiFi" identifier in their list of available wireless networks and connect. The only requirement is that the user open up a browser window and then accept the 'Terms of Internet Service' use. Acceptance of the terms is only required once per session.
"The WiFi service is so easy to use that most people aren't aware of the cutting-edge technology behind it," Fiet said. "It is technically very challenging to deliver a consistent and continuous Internet connection to a large number of users on a train travelling up to 79 miles per hour. No other rail system in the world to date has been able to deliver it as effectively as UTA."
The infrastructure to support FrontRunner WiFi was planned for early on in the project. Before completing construction on the 44-mile rail corridor, UTA installed conduit and fiber optic cables under the tracks. This fiber system delivers a 20 megabits-per-second internet connection to 28 towers that parallel the route. The towers then broadcast a five megabit WiMax connection to the train as it goes by, passing the continuous signal from tower to tower in a relay as the train travels down the tracks.
WiFi service is also free and available on UTA's express bus fleet on routes that run from county to county.
For more information, visit http://www.rideuta.com.
UTA FrontRunner WiFi Fact Sheet
* UTA offers WiFi service on FrontRunner free to all riders from downtown Salt Lake City to Ogden.
* After just four months of operation, over 1000 users per day are connecting to the WiFi service, approximately 1 in 9 riders.
* To connect to the service, riders should look for the "UTA_WiFi" identifier (SSID) in their list of available wireless networks.
* Once connected, riders simply need to open a browser window and accept the 'Terms of Internet Service Use' and they are ready to go.
* WiFi is compatible for riders with standard Virtual Private Network (VPN) setups, allowing them to virtually connect to their office network while on the train.
* FrontRunner's WiFi uses cutting edge technology that is on the fore-front of innovation.
* It is currently the fastest WiFi network in the world that offers free internet access to all riders on all train cars along a 44 mile commuter rail corridor.
* Delivering a consistent and continuous Internet connection on board a moving train traveling up to 79 mph is technically very challenging, no other rail system has been able to deliver it as effectively as UTA.
* UTA was able to build the WiFi network by advance planning, with components of the WiFi infrastructure integrated into the rail construction project.
* Conduit and fiber optic cables installed under the tracks allowed UTA to build a very robust WiMax backhaul system.
* Fiber backhaul system connects to a dedicated 20 megabits per second ISP (internet service provider)
* The rail corridor features 28 WiMax towers that connect the fiber backhaul system to the trains by broadcasting a 5 megabit WiMax connection to access points on board each car.
* The access points then broadcast the WiFi to users seated anywhere on the train.
* Train cars also feature an ATT 3G data backup network that maintains a continuous connection with WiFi users to prevent any loss of signal in the event of a drop from the WiMax system.
* Nomad Digital - WiFi network infrastructure
* Redline Communications - WiMax and WiFi equipment
* Wasatch Electric - Fiber and tower telecommunications infrastructure
* Xmission - Broadband Internet Service Provider