Perth public transport users promised free wi-fi

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Perth public transport users promised free wi-fi

Will any vendors agree to roll it out?

Western Australia has officially given transport authorities the green light to find a wi-fi provider willing to fit out Perth's more than 1400 buses, 222 trains and two ferries with consumer internet connectivity for free.

The service provider will be able to run advertising or offer premium services over the network in exchange for the free offering.

The state government first announced its proposal to install free commuter wi-fi across the entire Transperth network back in 2015.

But it also confirmed it would not pay for the rollout.

Within the coming weeks it will find out whether anyone is interested in the offer, with a request for bids issued to the market on Friday.

The service has been promised to Perth public transport users by 2017.

The state wants providers to offer up a service that matches or beats the 3G or 4G cellular services commuters are already accessing from their paid carriers.

“The system must be able to provide users with a target speed of at least 5Mbps and at least 150MB of data per day per user," the tender documents state.

“The system must be flexible to ensure certain high bandwidth applications are blocked if demand exceeds available bandwidth to ensure fair usage between customers."

The government wants system uptime of at least 99.5 percent.

The network equipment rollout will coincide with the state’s refresh of ticketing and real-time GPS tracking hardware on the Transperth bus fleet, including a 3G/wi-fi equipped modem and RF-Tag reader device on every service . But it says none of this infrastructure will be shared with the wi-fi network.

It also asked that coverage in a specific vehicle or location have the ability to be disabled remotely.

Perth commuter lines account for over 63 million passenger trips each year, with a typical weekday comprising 11,200 bus services, 1000 train services, 400 school bus services and 80 ferry services.

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