In a fast-paced world, rail passengers automatically expect internet connectivity
when they are mobile. With increased commuting times, travellers are looking to
use their time productively when travelling.
Chiltern Railways were quick to recognise this as a priority and, as a progressive company priding itself on being an early adopter of technology, became one of the first to offer free WiFi on its trains in 2011 with Icomera, one of the leading providers of on board WiFi for transportation.
It was in 2016 that Chiltern Railways partnered with WiFi SPARK, guest WiFi solution specialists, to link up with the onboard technology and deliver a continuously connected passenger experience to customers on its routes from
London, The Midlands and Oxford.
The result was a first for the railway industry and was achieved through an innovative approach from all parties. Now all passengers who travel with Chiltern Railways can have continuous connectivity, from the start of their journey to the end.
However, it was not just the challenge of creating this connected pathway that project leaders had to overcome. They also wanted to ensure the new
WiFi experience would be a safe one for children and young people, and that passengers would not otherwise be embarrassed by inappropriate content.
That was when WiFi SPARK introduced the team to Friendly WiFi certification.
Chiltern Railways Interim Customer Services Director Alan Riley said: “If you decide you’re going to provide free, industry-leading WiFi service an early question has to be ‘how safe is it?”
“Our collaboration with Friendly WiFi and certification provides certainty and reassurance both for our customers and ourselves.”
By June 25, all Chiltern Railways trains and stations were certified as ‘Friendly WiFi’ locations, meaning they could use Friendly WiFi symbol.
Matt O’Donovan, CEO of WiFi SPARK said: “We offer a premium standard of filtering as part of our managed service which meets the Friendly WiFi requirements. As a certified Friendly WiFi partner, we were pleased to be able to offer a safe online journey.”
Friendly WiFi consultant Mike Davies said: “During the process WiFi SPARK introduced us to Chiltern Railway as both the certification service and a way of showing their travelling public the WiFi was safe.”
“They immediately saw the benefit and, because WiFi SPARK were already able to offer a filtered service, the approval was straightforward. We are proud to be involved with this progressive and fast-moving organisation “