Monday, December 08, 2008

Thalys Satellite wifi, fast train, slow web

In the train to Paris and experimenting with the wifi on board. Its painfully slow for most of the journey....some sort of satellite system. Getting around 33k throughput, which is bad dial-up speed. Thalys used to be top, but in the last few years the budget cutbacks are noticeable with rolling stock that is in need of refurbishing. Catering has also been reduced to cold snacks. What I still find strange is that they work with paper tickets (which means you can book on the Internet, but they send you paper tickets through the post within 3 days). If you buy a ticket online and then want to pick it up at the station they charge you a fee. The other challenge is that you have no idea where you're sitting (I want a window seat to be near a power socket for the laptop) and so if a colleague has made a separate booking there's no way to sit next to them. Thalys needs to move into the 21st century.

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