The French rail giant SNCF has announced it is increasing its free on-board wifi offering, aiming to reach 80 percent of its passengers by the end of 2017.

The company’s on-board wifi programme called TGV Connect was originally only available on the SNCF high-speed rail line between Paris and Lyon. High demend for wifi has seen the rail company invest in the infrastructure.

SNFC initially faced technological challenges when attempting to provide good quality, consistent wifi at speeds of 300 km/hr.

Ahead of TGV Connects full-scale deployment, the company has worked with Arcep, France’s telecoms and regulatory authority, to enhance existing networks along its rail routes enabling wifi that has the capacity to simultaneously handle hundreds of users.

High-speed routes such as Bordeaux, Lille, Strasbourg, Rennes and Marseilles will be the first to receive TGV Connect. The company aims to have 300 trains equipped with the technology to provide wifi by the end of 2017, and has expressed its wish to make wifi available to all passengers on all trains in the future.

Megan Grace Hill