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Author: Rebecca Gibson/02 June 2016/Categories: News, Onboard experience, Ferry news
Passengers and crew on the almost half of the 200-mile long Caledonian MacBrayne (CalMac) ferry network in Scotland, UK can access free wifi for the first time.
In total, the free wifi network will cover four CalMac offices, 31 vessels and 50 ports, harbours and slipways when the project is complete this July. The first vessel to go live was Bute on the Wemyss Bay to Rothesay route last February, while Rothesay was the first port to benefit.
“We are now almost halfway through the rollout programme for CalMac public access wifi,” 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.”
The project has taken longer than expected to complete due to ‘significant hurdles’ during the planning, testing and installation phases, which were caused by Scotland’s west coast geography and current transmitter infrastructure.
“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,” said McKillop. “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 from July, CalMac expects that there may be service disruptions on a small number of longer routes, which include large areas of open water where the ferries will be unable to connect to terrestrial transmitters. Isle of Lewis, for example, will lose its connectivity to the north of Mull until it nears Castlebay. However, the ferry company aims to invest in technology to overcome this issue in the long term.
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