Rail passengers should have high capacity wireless connectivity

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  • Rail passengers should have high capacity wireless connectivity. This should be achieved through a delivery model that utilises trackside infrastructure to provide an open and accessible mobile telecommunication and backhaul network that is fit for the future.
  • The government should set out its plans for how to deliver this by the end of 2017. As part of this work consideration should be given to who is best placed to install, manage, fund and own the network, noting the potential for private sector funding.
  • Ensuring that best use is made of the existing infrastructure, such as masts, poles, ducts power supplies and the fibre network alongside our railways so that it can be used to support the backhaul of mobile data will be essential. Ultimately, the government should ensure that the necessary infrastructure is in place on the main rail and key commuter routes by 2025 at the latest if it wants to offer a reasonable level of connectivity on a timescale consistent with the deployment of 5G networks.
  • Ofcom should set out how a regulatory regime would support these different operating models.

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