Wednesday 8 October 2014

WiFi Comparison in Ipswich

Last week in a blaze of erm, well, understatement the on board WiFi on the refurbished First fleet in Ipswich was switched on. And so as a frequent passenger as well as enthisiast I thought I'd spend the afternoon comapring the two versions available in Ipswich with Ipswich Buses having WiFi on a few of their buses too.

After the first two journeys though I was getting despondent. I started purely as it was the first bus to turn up by catching IB's Dart 85 on the 4 to Martlesham. Now I'm sure you'll remember when I did my refurbishment comparison a couple of months ago I was astonished at how quickly I managed to log onto the WiFi on the 4 coming into Ipswich. Today, however, the opposite applied and I never got past the log on page. not a good start to the trial.

Ipswich Buses 85 Dart PJ53 OLE at Tesco Martlesham
So I switched to First and at last, no less than 17 days after I should have been on her I finally boarded Eastewrn Counties liveried B7tl VA479, not to ShowBus but back to Ipswich, or at least that was the plan. Unfortunately the WiFi wasn't working. Couldn't even get an IP logged so at Kesgrave I aborted the trip and waited for the one behind, However Tesco provided the backdrop for some pretty good pics today so despite her abject WiFi failure here is my pic of the day! Sometimes the rain is so hard it actually washed the buses - I saw that in Yarmouth last year and it happened again today in Ipswich

VA479 at Martlesham
 The one behind happened to be ex Norwich sister 32486 and at last, thankfully, a working WiFi. Not only working but I was logged in and online in seconds. Much superior to the X1 system it must be said. A decent and productive journey to Ipswich ensued.

32486 on the 200 mile I mean yard Kesgrave Guided Busway!
So back in Ipswich I jumped on IB's pink Free Shuttle Solo and managed after a bit of a struggle to log on to their WiFi. Jumped straight off and onto Firsts's E200 44518 and again no problems there. Giving IB another chance Dart 84 was on the 12's but alas it was another bus that I couldn't even get an IP log, let alone register for the WiFi. I returned to town and then had an idea. I realised I could just stand by a bus and log into its WiFi so I could survey a lot more buses quicker. So I wandered down to Old Cattle Market bus station and stood by many First vehicles. I am pleased to report that they ALL logged on extremnely quickly and the strength of signal is really good. In fact I was sitting on my Galloway's MCV Evolution at one end of the Bus Station, still surfing perfectly well on First's WiFi coming from a Felixstowe B7rle the other end (66981 I think)

66981 sits on the Felixstowe stand emitting a very good WiFi signal
So out of numerous First vehicles I tried to log into only one failed - that rather unfortunately being VA479, but I have to say the service from the ones that worked was excellent. Ipswich Buses didn't fare so well, with only one out of the three logging me in. However I will endeavour to find out just how many of their fleet are fitted with WiFi and give them another chance. Tomorrow I'll be back in Norwich and will give Konect's WiFi a try.

My first pic of 32492, seen in Woodbridge Rd taken from 32486

Now if you cast your mind back to the refurbishment comparison - click here if you haven't seen it - I said First's seats were the best. I stand by that in the case of the refurbished vehicles, but just like on First Essex's Omnicity's a few weeks ago when I was coming back from Kent by bus, the original leather seats on IB's Scania Omnicity's are the most comfortable by far and should be copied elsewhere! Just thought I should mention that.

Ipswich Buses 41 Volvo Olympian M41 EPV in Woodbridge Rd taken from 32486

Quick bit of Ipswich news - next to return from the poodle parlour will be 69010 tomorrow while 69423 has gone up there today. B7tl 32653 is long term OTR with engine probs, and the reason 32655 went up for refurb when she was already in Corporate livery is due to servicing schedules. It was all explained to me but there were so many figures being quoted I started feeling dizzy! So servicing schedules will do! Cheers Barry!

Finally tonight a new feature on the blog is the search bar at the top of the left hand column. If you want to search for any vehicle that might be featured or anything of relevance just type in a fleet number or keyword into the bar and let Google do the rest. Happy searching!


  1. Oh Steve, you could really be upsetting the marketeers' data harvesting! Well it's First, so I hope they have decent contracts. So probably not.

  2. Interestingly enough, I was on unrefurbished 32491 on Sunday and that has already been fitted with Wi-Fi.

    Do we know if the 05 reg deckers are gonna be fitted with guidewheels when they go up to Rotherham, or if indeed 32651/652/654 will join the other three here?

  3. Good post Stagecoach down here have no Wi-Fi what so ever. Ipswich Buses and first have an advantage ove Stagecoach.

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