Saturday, April 20, 2024

Wi-Fi tech trial for Nambucca Heads train station

Rail users at Nambucca Heads Station on the NSW Mid North Coast are enjoying free Wi-Fi thanks to a trial of state-of-the-art satellite communications technology. 

The station was previously a cellular blackspot but customers are now able to stay digitally connected with up to 60 minutes of free Wi-Fi per day, thanks to the application of Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellite communications systems. 

NSW TrainLink Customer Environment Manager, Vernon Buckle said the technology is easy to use and rail users have already provided positive feedback. 

“Having free Wi-Fi allows passengers and guests to catch up on work or the news and stay in touch with friends and family,” Mr Buckle said.

“We will use this information to understand how passengers use this technology and to adjust and improve future  passenger service offerings.” 

Transport for NSW Infrastructure and Integration Manager, Robert Bainton said the aim of the three-month trial is to harness the innovative Starlink technology, developed by aerospace company SpaceX, to provide the digital connectivity service to passengers. 

“At regional locations, passengers can have long wait times between connections and this can contribute to a poor passenger experience. One way to improve passenger experience is to provide reliable digital connectivity,” Mr Bainton said.

Nambucca Heads Station Railway will mark its centenary in December.

Starlink’s ability to access the world’s largest and first satellite constellation and integrate it with a wireless access point router is key to how the system operates.

“The technology has enabled us to deliver fit for purpose and safe access to high-speed internet for customers at Nambucca Heads station. We will use it as a proof of concept to see if the technology might have other applications across the network.”

The Nambucca Station trial was the result of collaboration between Transport for NSW and the NSW Telco Authority.

During the three-month trial period, Transport for NSW will be actively monitoring the service and will work on troubleshooting if any technical or performance issues arise.

More information on the Nambucca Heads Station Free Wi-Fi Trial can be found here

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