California's latest broadband by railBy Doug Mohney
In California, BART/Capitol Corridor Joint Powers Authority (CCJPA) has selected four finalists to provide fast mobile broadband services on their trains.
Concourse Communications, Earthlink, Nomad Digital, and ATCI have been selected to participate in trials to demonstrate the technical feasibility and cost-effectiveness of a broadband network along a route stretching from Auburn to San Jose . Applications to be demonstrated at full speed include Internet, e-mail, VPN access, video downloads and VoIP to riders' laptops, PDAs and cell phones.
Participating vendors will install and test their own networks and equipment at their own expense on sections of the route while CCJPA will supply rail cars, space in stations, and collaborative support. The rail operator expects to use the network to support its own operations, including electronic ticketing and management of passenger information, transmission of train diagnostic information, and close circuit TV surveillance and monitoring for safety and security.
Results of the initial technical trials to be conducted through the end of the year will lead towards a "fast-track" procurement of a system-wide network covering a 171 mile service area. CCJPA expects to put out a competitive bid in the first quarter of 2007 to build a network that serves the entire Capital Corridor. Major transit agencies throughout the United States are closely watching the tests for solutions that may be applicable to their own railways.
Copyright ©2006 von magazine. Published 06/30/2006.