WiFi works just fine on moving trains and buses in many other places in the world, and for cryin' out loud it even works on planes with 500 passengers in it. So what is so special about our trains that makes it an unworkable idea? Heck even my 3G/4G MiFi service works just fine when there is signal. The issue is of making signals more available along the RoW.
I have consistently posted on this forum with my disappointment with the amtrak wifi service. I understand the limitations that the trains face, but to me it is a problem of expectations, as the article mentions. Amtrak has heavily marketed their wifi which is so slow as to be unusable. I do much better on my iPhone with the 3G connection than attempting to use the wifi.
Yep. WiFi on a moving LD train is simply an unworkable idea.
This is a good example that sometimes a company should ignore customer requests because even though they sound reasonable on the surface, they are just plain bad ideas. And as in this case, something a company can't possibly achieve "on the cheap".
I think the problem that Amtrak is facing is one of under-configuration of capacity, which is something that can be fixed, and I understand they are working on fixing it. It is a problem faced when one is too successful, a good problem to have IMHO. Most Telcos are suffering from similar problems specially in the Cell segment. They don't have the problem in the core Trunk segment.
There is also the possibility of using direct Sat link instead of depending on the terrestrial cellular network, which is what airlines do. But that does add to the cost, though it provides pretty continuous service all over the world even across vast oceans. Railroads have the additional problem of running through tunnels and deep cuts to contend with too.