Internet Now Available in Majority of World’s Major Subway Systems

By The New Cities Foundation, PRNE
Wednesday, November 2, 2011

GENEVA, November 3, 2011 -

New Cities Foundation Study Shows 60% of Subways Have Internet Access Underground

A comprehensive new survey of global subway systems shows that passengers on most of the world’s large underground systems can access the wireless Internet when they travel. This survey, conducted in October 2011, covers 121 global cities of more than 750,000 people with an underground subway or metro system. Access to the mobile Internet is an essential component of the smart in ’smart city’: this is how people connect to one another and to the services they need. NCF chose to focus on commuting because this is a significant part of most people’s day in big cities but one where there is a clear divide between on and offline.

The study shows the highest availability of mobile data services is in South Korea and China, where users can connect to the Internet in 100 % of major subway systems. Overall, Asian commuters can go online in 84 % of major subways, compared to 56 % in the EU and 41% in the US and Canada. The lowest rate is in Eastern Europe and Central Asia, at 25%.

According to Mathieu Lefevre, Executive Director of the NCF, ‘This study helps paint a new map of the world, where technological divides are not where you think. For instance, it says a lot that Asian commuters can check their email and read the news in more than 80 % of the region’s subway systems, compared to just half than in North America.’

To view the full survey results, please visit our Facebook page or our website

About the New Cities Foundation

The New Cities Foundation is a Swiss non-profit institution, which aims to be the premier high-level platform for innovation and exchange on the future of urbanization. NCF believes the unprecedented rate of urban growth that defines the 21st century represents a unique set of challenges as well as a chance to build more sustainable, vibrant, innovative and equitable communities in the developed and the emerging world. NCF hosts a series of Task Forces and a major global event, the New Cities Summit.!/newcitiesfound

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