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NEW INTERCITY FLEET WI-FI NOT GUARANTEED

October 29, 2018

New Intercity fleet carriages, which will become available on the South Coast Line in 2021, will not have Wi-Fi automatically available.

 

The great selling point for the new intercity fleet by the Berejiklian Government has been the carriages will provide ”Improved accessibility, enhanced safety, improved comfort and modern features”.

 

Yet in an answer to a Question on Notice by Wollongong MP, Paul Scully, the Minister for Transport and Infrastructure, Andrew Constance MP, has said:

 

“The New Intercity Fleet will be Wi-Fi enabled so that we’re in a position to make this feature operational should that decision be taken in the future.”

 

Mr Scully also asked the Minister, given that the new intercity fleet would be made available only on the Newcastle and Central Coast Lines first, followed by the Blue Mountains Line and then the South Coast Line, whether retrofitting of WiFi would take place on existing carriages.

 

The Minister informed him that:

 

“We will continue to explore and assess Wi-Fi opportunities as they arise.”

 

The news comes after the Minister was approached earlier this month by Cunningham MP, Sharon Bird; Keira MP, Ryan Park and Mr Scully over a long-running stand-off between Sydney Trains and Telstra over telecommunications black spots in the northern Illawarra on the South Coast Line.

 

A response has yet to be provided to the offer by the three MPs to assist in resolving this impasse to improve commuter connectivity.

 

Comments attributable to Paul Scully MP:

 

“The new intercity fleet has been sold to the community as improving accessibility, safety, comfort and modern features, yet the Minister concedes that the most modern feature of all – Wi-Fi – won’t be operational immediately.

 

“Wi-Fi will only be made “operational should that decision be taken in the future.”

 

“I would hope that before the new intercity fleet is used on the South Coast Line by 2021, the Minister and Sydney Trains might have this question of ‘to Wi-Fi or not to Wi-Fi’ resolved by then.

 

“But they still haven’t got round to providing improved mobile reception between Thirroul and Helensburgh even though federal funding under the black spot program was approved in 2015.

 

“The Berejiklian Government has become what the “Yes, Minister” episodes warned about.”

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