North Carolina DOT Piedmont Service Launches Passenger Wi-Fi Services Featuring Viasat Managed Wi-Fi Services
CARLSBAD, Calif. – May 22, 2015 – The North Carolina Department of Transportation Rail Division (NCDOT) has deployed Viasat Inc. (NASDAQ: VSAT) managed Wi-Fi® services on its Piedmont passenger trains to ensure complete wireless internet services to passengers traveling between Raleigh and Charlotte, North Carolina. A free Wi-Fi service is now offered to all passengers and officially launches today on the 20th anniversary of the Piedmont railway. Passengers will have non-stop access to surf the web, check and respond to email, engage in social media and stay connected while traveling on the 174 mile corridor.
The NCDOT is modernizing the Piedmont corridor through a series of projects and enhancements known as the Piedmont Improvement Program, or PIP. The focus of PIP is to make train travel safer, more reliable and better connected. By deploying free Wi-Fi as a standard service on its trains, NCDOT is establishing itself as a technological leader and innovator in the rail industry. The new Wi-Fi service will enhance the overall quality of experience for passengers, potentially increase ridership due to the availability of Wi-Fi and provide extra layers of railway safety in the future by supporting train control and monitoring systems.
The railways are an important part of our national transportation system, and ensuring passenger safety, efficiency and connectivity on the Piedmont line will lead to economic opportunities for the regions of Raleigh and Charlotte and the cities, towns and communities in between,” said Paul Worley, railway division director, North Carolina Department of Transportation. “We see a growing trend in ridership on regional trains like the Piedmont, with over 300 passengers a day. We believe by deploying new Wi-Fi services we can increase existing passenger satisfaction and attract new customers.
Viasat worked extensively on the network design to engineer complete coverage of the Piedmont rail corridor, ensuring uninterrupted Wi-Fi services to passengers and easy management of train configurations by NCDOT. Viasat managed Wi-Fi services include end-to-end management of Wi-Fi networks from network design, installation and reporting to monitoring and end-user support via the system’s cloud-based TRACKOS software.
"We understand how to bring best-in-class internet access to the transportation sector,” said Cody Catalena, vice president and general manager, Wireless Services, Viasat. “Specific to Piedmont, we leveraged our experience in delivering managed Wi-Fi across multiple industries and platforms to ensure this launch in the rail industry would be a success. We have the expertise and technology required to keep passengers connected with Wi-Fi services on trains anywhere in the world.”
About the Piedmont Rail Service
The Piedmont Rail service currently consists of two daily round-trips between Raleigh and Charlotte, with seven intermediate stops along the route. In 2017, NCDOT expects to have three daily Piedmont round-trips between Raleigh and Charlotte. Travel time between Raleigh and Charlotte is approximately three hours in each direction.
This press release contains forward-looking statements that are subject to the safe harbors created under the Securities Act of 1933 and the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Forward looking statements include statements about the success of the products and services delivered to NCDOT and Viasat managed Wi-Fi services for railway use and deployment, including enhanced passenger experience, increased ridership and extra layers of railway safety. Readers are cautioned that actual results could differ materially from those expressed in any forward-looking statements. Factors that could cause actual results to differ include: contractual problems, product defects, manufacturing issues or delays, regulatory issues, technologies not being developed according to anticipated schedules, or that do not perform according to expectations; and increased competition and other factors affecting the transportation sector generally. In addition, please refer to the risk factors contained in Viasat’s SEC filings available at www.sec.gov, including Viasat’s most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K and Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on any forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date on which they are made. Viasat undertakes no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements for any reason.