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A commuter taking a two-hour intercity train trip to Sydney has both the space and the time to make serious use of a WiFi network but, alas, doesn’t have the WiFi network.

However, in an almost unheralded trial announced during the silly season and switched on last week, commuters between the eastern suburb of Maroubra and the inner-city suburb of Leichhardt will be guinea pigs for on-bus WiFi.

Given the difficulties facing a bus commuter struggling with a laptop – if a seat on a bus is even available, the space between seats is usually too small for a fully open screen, for example – the WiFi trial seems more designed to target the iPhone / iPad user base. One end of the route, Leichhardt, is Sydney’s “little Italy”, dripping with cool and coffeeshops; near the other end is the University of New South Wales, crowded with gadget-laden students.

The trial offers a maximum 45-minute or 30 Mbyte download free session per trip.

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