Vic enhances regional rail mobile coverage
Regional Victorian rail passengers will receive improved mobile coverage with the rollout of the Regional Rail Connectivity Project (RRCP).
About a quarter of V/Line’s Vlocity trains are now fitted with mobile signal boosters, with more trains set to roll out each week until the entire Vlocity fleet is connected by the end of 2018.
The Victorian Government is working with Telstra, Vodafone and Optus to deliver the $18 million RRCP, which also includes the construction of 35 new mobile towers that will combine with the boosters to increase mobile coverage for passengers along the Traralgon, Geelong, Ballarat, Bendigo and Seymour lines.
Passengers that catch a train fitted with a booster will know they have access to much better coverage when they see stickers telling them they are on a connected train.
There will still be some blackspots until all trains are fitted with boosters and all the new mobile towers are up and running, but by the end of this year, passengers will have great mobile coverage on all their journeys.
“Better mobile coverage on these rail lines is part of our effort to connect regional Victoria and remove the digital divide between those living in Melbourne and those living in our regions,” said Minister for Regional Development Jaala Pulford.
With more than 15.5 million passenger trips every year, this project will enable more Victorians to work during their daily commute, delivering an estimated $20 million boost per year to the Victorian economy.
“Whether passengers want to do business, browse social media or call their loved ones to tell them they’re on the way home, this project will ensure regional passengers are connected,” said Minister for Innovation and the Digital Economy Philip Dalidakis.
The government is investing heavily in improving connectivity in regional Victoria. Projects include delivering free public Wi-Fi in Bendigo and Ballarat, building 166 new towers to fix mobile blackspots and launching the $45 million Connecting Regional Communities Program to address regional priorities.
The government also announced that Victoria’s nine regional partnerships will share in $1 million to develop comprehensive digital plans to address the needs and priorities of their region.
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