updated 01:45 pm EDT, Fri July 30, 2010
NYC to have phone and data for whole routes
New York City's soon-to-start extension of cellular and Wi-Fi access into subway tunnels will sometimes provide a connection through the entire tunnel, contractors said on Friday. The Metropolitan Transportation Authority's plan to give access to stations will by its nature propagate the signal through the tunnels. In Manhattan and other areas with both frequent stops and wide tunnels, the signals would have enough room that they could make an almost end-to-end link.
Full access may not come for several years, the New York Daily News cautioned. Transit Wireless, the primary contractor, has up to two years to implement the first six stations but another four beyond that to complete the remaining 271 stations the MTA wants connected.
The American approach to wireless links on commuter subways and trains has contrasted sharply with countries like Japan and South Korea. Where these countries often have access through much or all of a trip, the US only seldomly has access. Some critics have often opposed the measures as they have argued that the environments should be quiet zones free of the stress from work.