Wi-fi friendly ferries right across CalMac’s service will soon be the norm.
While the company may still be under-fire for the on-going problems on Skye’s Armadale-Mallaig crossing at least travellers there and throughout the ferry network will have instant access to the internet.
Already almost half of the 200-mile long Caledonian MacBrayne network is now live with free public access wi-fi – and the remainder will be completed in early July.
In total, 88 vessels and land-based locations will be switched on. The roll out of free wi-fi has been on-going for some time but the programme has gathered rapid pace in the last two months . The service is seen as being a welcome addition to both visitors and locals alike, especially in many remote areas where mobile signal ranges from poor to absent. There is little 3G or 4G provision across most of the network and this new connectivity is seen as a welcome boost to both business and pleasure travelers who can now work or communicate in real time.
“We are now almost halfway through the rollout programme for CalMac public access wi-fi,” said project manager Jim McKillop. “Already we have had some great feedback from communities involved and we are committed to rollout completion by early July.
“I’d like to thank everyone for their patience throughout this project – we’re under no illusion about the frustration with some of the delays which have occurred. But we are confident that the service which is being put in place is something which will be of significant benefit to communities and visitors alike.”
Although all vessels will be live, there will be interruption to service on a small number of longer routes which may require other technologies in due course to overcome the issue. These are typically routes which have a protracted area of open water to cross and are out of connectivity from terrestrial transmitters.