The MBTA today announced a contract with a new WiFi provider for commuter rail it says will mean more reliable free access to e-mail for riders - and the option to add full Internet service for $15 a month.
InMotion Wireless will build a $5.6 million WiFi network for trains that will also cover commuter ferries and South, North and Back Bay stations, at no cost to the T. Installation begins this fall and will be fully complete in 18 months, the T says.
Under a 22-year license agreement, inMOTION will install, operate, and maintain a neutral, private, and dedicated WiFi network on all MBTA passenger coaches and ferries. MBTA customers will have free access to the internet, as well as a live television feed. Premium WiFi service, which allows customers to stream data and video, will be available for a fee of $15 per month. The MBTA will receive 7.5% of net revenue received from the WiFi program.
A spokesman elucidates:
Free service will allow the customer to perform email functions at regular speeds, to access to a live local TV broadcast (the actual station to be announced), but would limit the their internet browsing and "throttle" performance.
Premium service would allow for full access to the internet at regular speeds. They would have access to out of market TV broadcasts as well as their home internet providers.
In addition to the premium fee, InMotion will also get to offer ads on a splash screen shown to commuters connecting at the train stations.