CalMac ‘actively working’ on on-board wi-fi

Caledonian MacBrayne is "actively working" on installing wi-fi technology on all its ships, according to a company spokesman.
Caledonian MacBrayne is "actively working" on installing wi-fi technology on all its ships, according to a company spokesman.

Caledonian MacBrayne is “actively working” on making free wi-fi available on its ships, The Buteman has been told.

We contacted the company after the announcement earlier this week from train operator ScotRail that wi-fi equipment was to be installed at Wemyss Bay station and on the trains which run most of the services between Wemyss Bay and Glasgow.

In response a spokesman said: “We are very keen to make a reliable and consistent Wi-fi signal available on our ships, and have undertaken a number of trials of several different delivery methods to do so, including satellite, point-to-point wireless and 3G.

“The geography in which we operate presents some challenges and we may have to apply different solutions in different areas, but these trials have allowed us to determine which technology is most suited to which area.

“This work is being carried out within the context of a major revamp of all onboard communications and we are working towards providing an ‘always on’ connection, allowing the ship to be permanently connected to the corporate network, which will allow us to operate safely and efficiently in delivering our services.

“Where there is sufficient capacity and network coverage this will allow us to deliver wi-fi services to passengers.

“We hope to tender and transition to a new service model during 2013 and the formal procurement process for this has started.

“We share everyone’s frustration that we cannot progress this as quickly as we would all like but we hope that everyone will appreciate that there are significant technological challenges and costs associated with it and we have to get it right.”