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Sluggish Amtrak Wi-Fi on Acela explained

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Ryan

Conductor
Joined
Apr 14, 2008
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OTN
Not a bad explanation. I disagree 100% with the ending though:

"A carrier Wi-Fi network should always be better than using a cellular Mi-Fi or air card," he said. "But I can't speak for every situation. Perhaps there are bottlenecks. But a well-engineered carrier network should deliver better performance. Air cards and Mi-Fi's are better used in places where Wi-Fi isn't available at all."
If that "well-engineered carrier network" is using a 3G radio as part of the backhaul, it'll always be better to use the 3G connection reserved exclusively for your use than it is to try and share one with dozens of other people.
 

none

Conductor
Joined
Sep 4, 2008
Messages
1,047
Very cool, thanks for posting that. Of course that article led me to read several others in her column, all of which is interesting to me in my own work - but all that reading has kept me from getting any work done!

Gotta love the internet though.
 

rkw

Train Attendant
Joined
Jul 26, 2011
Messages
16
Hmmmm, reading that might make me reconsider paying up for the Acela from NYC to DC.

I might as well just use my mobile wifi hotspot and take the slower and cheaper train if it's that bad.
 
X

X

Guest
AmtrakConnect WiFi doesn't use just one 3g radio from a single provider, it aggregates the bandwidth from multiple air cards split amongst the major providers. That plus the antennas being up on the roof leads to the system having a lot more bandwidth than you'd think, that it's as slow as it is just goes to show how many people are trying to use it at once.
 

Anderson

Conductor
Joined
Nov 16, 2010
Messages
9,592
Location
Virginia
Do consider that on a midday Acela, you've probably got 50+ people fighting for a connection. I expect sluggishness (and actually, dealing with slower links is one of several reasons why I purposefully keep to a lower-end DSL connection at home)...my main issue was that the connection crashed repeatedly last time I was onboard.
 
B

BusinessTraveler

Guest
Moderator note: Reply is to a topic dormant for 14 months.

The Amtrak wi-fi is borderline false advertising. They say you can get reliable service, but that is not the case. They even make you agree to understanding the service is crap before you can continue.

How about investing into a 4g system? Amtrak has been getting complaints for years about their service and haven't done anything to keep up with the times. I hope another company comes up to put them out of business. Business travelers need wi-fi.

Here's an idea: with all the money they charge they can a percentage of that and install a 4g system. Too obvious?
 
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