First Great Western details free onboard Wi-Fi plan

Access the internet from rural areas on the train

Free Wi-Fi will be rolled out across the First Great Western fleet of trains next year. Nomad Digital has concluded an agreement with the train company that will see free internet access across all of the operator's lines in 2014 as well as on overnight services.

Wireless internet connectivity will be installed on all 53 of First Great Western's high-speed trains and Night Riviera services. This will be done as part of the company's new 23-month franchise.

The company first pledged to add the free Wi-Fi service in October this year. Work on fitting their fleet of trains will begin in May 2014, with the rollout set to be completed by the end of the same year. Passengers on the two daily Night Riviera services will also be able to access free Wi-Fi from June 2014.

Well received

Mark Hopwood, managing director of First Great Western, explained that the company had trialled the service on a fleet of trains serving the North Cotswolds. The proposition had been "very well received" by customers.

Customers on the train service will only need to have the ability to connect from their laptops or mobile devices to use the feature, regardless of their location in the train compartments. Any browser opened by them will automatically redirect them to the access page.

"I'm delighted to say that within the next year all high-speed and sleeper fleet customers will be able to read their emails, browse the web or simply catch up with friends on the move," he added.

Nomad Digital has seen vast increases in demand for Wi-Fi and other wireless connected services on trains worldwide over the past year. Andrew Taylor, Nomad's CEO, said that the company was "proud to be providing the technology as well as playing a central part in such a valuable service."