Telstra will scope the infrastructure requirements of bringing improved mobile coverage and station wi-fi to the NSW Central Coast rail corridor under a new deal with Sydney Trains.
The telco was awarded the $13.2 million contract late last year after a protracted expressions of interest process to improve coverage for train commuters along the 60km stretch of rail.
It comes more than two-and-a-half years after the federal government first pledged $12 million in funding towards the project, which was met with a further $4 million from the NSW government.
The funding will be used to improve the commute for the 30,000-odd people who travel more than 60km between Sydney and the Central Coast by train each day.
A Sydney Trains spokesperson told iTnews the contract will see Telstra “investigate improving mobile coverage in the rail corridor and wi-fi on station platforms along the Central Coast” until April 2020.
“The contract includes identifying the infrastructure required to support the eradication of blackspots between Hornsby and Wyong,” the spokesperson said.
This is contrary to details of the contract, which indicates the telco will “improve the in-train mobile coverage in the rail corridor and wi-fi on station platforms on the Central Coast”.
The expressions of interest process for telcos to improve coverage was originally conducted separately to the procurement process for station wi-fi, and by separate jurisdictions.
The federal government kicked off its procurement process for improved coverage in September 2017, while NSW planned to conduct its own procurement of wi-fi services at a later point in time.
The result of the federal government’s procurement is not yet know, though the composition and value of the Telstra contract could suggest the two procurements have resulted in a single contract.