VIA-rail now has wifi


I used wifi for the first time via your and service on my trip from Ottawa to Toronto.

I never did get why you trialed things on the Toronto/Montreal trains, as Ottawa is where high tech is. I also want to let you know that I would have taken the overnight service from Ottawa to Toronto on this trip had you ever bothered to make the stop in Ottawa as you promised to. (I DO want to get to Ottawa 6am. It means that I don’t lose a day to travel, and I don’t have to leave Toronto at 5:30pm, and I don’t arrive home tired)

I very much hope you consider equipping ALL of your trains with wifi, including the Montreal/Halifax run. That would be a big incentive for me to take that train, although a better connection to Fredericton is probably the major limiting factor.

Your provider needs to offer WEP/WPA service. Not for privacy — WEP and WPA is trivially cracked, but for authentication. The web portal mess is just that — a mess. It won’t work from my wifi phone, or my wifi instant messaging appliance (it’s PDA sized).

Your price is okay, but not great. I had to think about $8.95. Is it worth it. At $5.99, it’s a no-brainer. Particularly since the network connection is slow.

The network connection also emerges from whatever radio/satellite system you have in Dallas Fort-Worth. This concerns me as the United States has very much different laws as to copyright than Canada. Keep my data in Canada if it is in Canada. Perhaps Ontario Hydro can help with transit across Ontario. This is important to me, and I’m willing to pay $1 more for this.

I do not in general like the web portal mess. I would prefer that my laptop just noticed that it was WPA, picked the right password and authenticated when it booted. My 802.11 phone can also do this, but it doesn’t have a browser.

I am willing to use it for the initial sign on, at which point I would prefer to buy blocks of hours. I.e. $50 for 50 hours, valid for up at least 1 year.

(At 5 hours per Ottawa/Toronto trip, that’s 5 round trips/year). You might just want to make this a perk at the Prestige or Premier VIA-preference level. I would also be very happy to redeem VIA-preference points for this.

Again, you need more bandwidth.