Amtrak continues advancing Wi-Fi connectivity

Posted: 6 May 2024 | | No comments yet

American operator Amtrak have issued a Request for Information (RFI) to support high speed connectivity Wi-Fi across the North East Corridor.

amtrak wifi

Amtrak has issued two RFIs (Request for Information) to support high speed Wi-Fi connectivity along the 450-mile Northeast Corridor (NEC) from Washington, D.C. to Boston. This marks significant progress towards advancing the onboard digital experience as the company delivers a new era of rail.

Seeking feedback from organisations

As the company identifies parties interested in progressing high-speed connectivity, Amtrak is embarking on a journey to build a wireless network from the ground up along the Northeast Corridor.

The two RFIs include the following requests:

  1. Organisations interested in deploying a fiber network along the NEC to support long-term digitisation.
  2. Metrics for understanding the market demand for fiber along six subsections of the 450-mile NEC route (Washington Union Station to Baltimore Penn Station, Baltimore Penn Station to Philadelphia 30th Street Station, Philadelphia 30th Street Station to Newark Penn Station, Newark Penn Station to New York Penn Station, New York Penn Station to New Haven Union Station and New Haven Union Station to Boston South Station)

The big picture

Amtrak is seeking partners to design, deploy and operate a fiber optics and wireless network that improves onboard passenger Wi-Fi, network connectivity, and other use-cases. Following this RFI, an RFP (Request for Proposals) may be issued to design and build a new high-capacity fiber optic cable along the route. Based on what Amtrak learns from these NEC-focused RFIs, Amtrak will consider options to bring modern, reliable Wi-Fi to trains throughout the country.

Amtrak continues to transform the customer Wi-Fi digital experience to improve connection, network reliability, stability, and faster access with:

  • Acela software upgrades completed in April 2024 that improve Wi-Fi resource allocation on busier trains
  • Upgraded 5G on the Amtrak Auto Train, Pacific Surfliner, and Acela
  • Northeast Regional upgrades to 5G planned for Summer 2024
  • The latest update on Wi-Fi improvements can be found here.

Interested parties must complete a short questionnaire on a potential fiber network along the Northeast Corridor.

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