Saturday, November 5, 2011

Internet Access in the World's Subway Systems

The New Cities Foundation, a Swiss non profit foundation, has published a comprehensive survey of wireless internet access in global subway systems. The survey, conducted in October 2011, covered 121 global cities of more than 750,000 people with an underground subway or metro system. Access to the mobile Internet is an essential component of the smart in 'smart city': this is how people connect to one another and to the services they need. NCF chose to focus on commuting because this is a significant part of most people's day in big cities but one where there is a clear divide between on and offline. The study showed the highest availability of mobile data services was in South Korea and China, where users can connect to the Internet in 100 % of major subway systems. Overall, Asian commuters can go online in 84 % of major subways, compared to 56 % in the EU and 41% in the US and Canada. The lowest rate is in Eastern Europe and Central Asia, at 25%.

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