CARLSBAD, Calif., Sept. 15, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Building on their multi-year relationship, the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) Rail Division and global broadband services and technology provider, ViaSat Inc. (NASDAQ: VSAT), are bringing new Wi-Fi service plans to Piedmont railway passengers traveling between Raleigh and Charlotte, North Carolina. The new tiered service plans offer passengers faster speeds and more options when surfing the web, checking and responding to email, engaging in social media and staying connected while traveling on the 174 mile corridor.
The new tiered Wi-Fi service offers three levels: a Bronze plan, which is included in the purchase of a ticket, to more robust premium service plans, which include a Silver and Gold plan, each of which provide higher speeds and additional streaming media options.
"ViaSat has been a valued partner to NCDOT in launching our wireless internet services onboard the Piedmont Rail," said Paul Worley, Director, NCDOT Rail Division. "The program has been highly successful in delivering Wi-Fi service to the occasional leisure traveler, family and business commuter; however, we want to raise passenger satisfaction further by delivering a more consistent Wi-Fi experience with faster speeds. By introducing new tiered internet options, we can ensure better quality of service to each passenger, while off-setting operational costs to NCDOT."
Ease of passenger use was critical to the development and deployment of the tiered Wi-Fi system approach, which leverages a Wi-Fi portal welcome page that simply highlights the passenger's onboard internet options. Once a passenger registers on the portal, they will have the opportunity to create a user account and password. Passengers can then select from the Gold, Silver or Bronze service plans.
"Since the beginning of our relationship, the NCDOT has been focused on modernizing the Piedmont railway system and making train travel more connected," said Cody Catalena, vice president and general manager, Wireless Services, ViaSat. "In working with NCDOT, we found being connected was not a 'one size fits all' approach, and we created the tiered Wi-Fi service plans to meet passengers' needs. By deploying the multi-plan system, NCDOT is establishing itself as an innovator in the rail industry, providing Piedmont passengers complete wireless internet services that meet individual needs when traveling."
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.
Pricing and Availability
The NCDOT's tiered Wi-Fi service plan is scheduled to launch on September 22, 2016. The existing Bronze plan is a 30-minute plan and is included in the train ticket purchase The new premium Silver plan subscriptions range from $1 (hourly) to $30 (monthly) and the new Gold plan subscriptions range from $2 (hourly) to $40 (monthly).
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.
ViaSat, Inc. (NASDAQ: VSAT) keeps the world connected. As a global broadband services and technology company, ViaSat ensures consumers, businesses, governments and military personnel have communications access - anywhere - whether on the ground or in-flight. The Company's innovations in designing highest-capacity satellites and secure ground infrastructure and terminal technologies coupled with its international network of managed Wi-Fi hotspots enable ViaSat to deliver a best available network that extends the reach and accessibility of broadband internet service, globally. For more information visit ViaSat at: www.viasat.com, or follow the Company on social media: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube.
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 new tiered service plans, faster speeds, off-setting costs and future rail round-trips. 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 communications and transportation sectors, 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.
Copyright © 2016 ViaSat, Inc. All rights reserved. All other product or company names mentioned are used for identification purposes only and may be trademarks of their respective owners. ViaSat is a registered trademark of ViaSat, Inc.
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SOURCE ViaSat, Inc.