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Free wifi on trains in Leeds and Bradford

Leeds and Bradford commuters travelling on Northern Rail’s electric trains can now access super-fast, FREE WiFi.

Leeds and Bradford commuters travelling on Northern Rail’s electric trains can now access super-fast, FREE WiFi while on-board. 

A joint initiative between Northern Rail, Leeds City Council, City of Bradford Metropolitan District Council and the West Yorkshire Combined Authority, it is thanks to an investment of £750,000 from BDUK (Broadband UK, an arm of the Department for Culture, Media and Sport).

Listen to more about the scheme - www.youtube.com/watch?v=TAq866Hl-I0&feature=youtu.be 

This is the first WiFi installation of its kind for Northern and is the only on train WiFi scheme being funded by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport.

The WiFi is available on Northern’s electric trains, which operate between Leeds and Skipton, Ilkley and Bradford Forster Square.

With connectivity going live this month, rail users have access to 20MB of free WiFi as well as unlimited entertrainment courtesy of content provider Spoken Ink and stored locally on Icomera’s onboard hardware.

Users can access a range of high-quality media content, including top Sky NOW TV shows, bestselling audiobooks from Audible, games, music, and local and national news – all ready to stream to devices for free. Since they are not streaming large media files, passengers using locally stored media significantly reduce the load on the connection for others wishing to work on the go or use social media.

Rob Warnes, Planning and Programmes Director for Northern, is delighted the new system is proving popular with customers: “We’ve seen a great take up in the on-board WiFi, registering over 100,000 users so far and customers have been telling us they love the speed as well as the content.”

Councillor James Lewis commented on behalf of West Yorkshire Combined Authority, Leeds City Council and the City of Bradford Metropolitan District Council: “The SuperConnected Cities programme aims to give access to the latest broadband technologies to everyone – businesses, residents and visitors – across the two cities.  Introducing free WiFi on-board Northern’s electric trains between Leeds and Bradford is opening up even more opportunities to rail users on the go. They can check their email, book a ticket in advance or read the latest news while travelling and stay connected on the move. It’s fantastic to have secured the funding and the feedback we’ve been getting has been really positive.”

Ed Vaizey MP, Minister for Culture and the Digital Economy comments: "Providing free WiFi on public transport and in public spaces is just one of the ways we're boosting connectivity across our cities. It is great to see the positive impact this is already having for commuters in Bradford and Leeds. With continued investment in superfast broadband we will ensure our cities continue to be attractive places to live, visit and do business in."

Dave Palmer, Managing Director of Icomera UK, commented, "With this solution, Northern Rail is giving their passengers a much-needed WiFi service, whilst adding even more value with their entertrainment system. I’m very pleased to see them making the most of growing technology that will benefit both them and their passengers”.


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Jan 28, 2015