Best Cellular Data for MBTA Providence / Stoughton Line
September 8, 2014 5:31 AM   Subscribe

I'm trying to get some work done on the train from Providence to Back Bay. I have Verizon Wireless, which works well until about Mansfield inbound. After that I barely have data at all. The in-car wifi is mostly non-operational and unusable (I have heard that the new management company is prioritizing upgrading the wifi but that's an 18 month project). What cell network do you use for reliable data service for this journey?
posted by grubby to Travel & Transportation around Boston, MA (2 answers total)
I've had VZW and AT&T 3G phones on that route - these are the two best coverage carriers in the Southern New England area, with Verizon being somewhat better than AT&T. The dead zone between Mansfield and Sharon was a royal PITA, and affected both carriers. Fellow riders with Sprint or T-Mob didn't seem to fare any better. It's a little rural corner of MA nooked in between massive suburban areas, without much coverage, or interest from the carriers in covering it. Maddening.

Worse, you have to remember the in-train wifi is powered by the same mobile data services that power your phone - AT&T, if I recall correctly - and subject to the same dead spots. When they get around to fixing it, it's still not going to work in that area.
posted by Slap*Happy at 11:20 AM on September 8, 2014 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Confirmed that there is no good solution to this at present. Confirmed that this is maddening. Workaround is to watch pre-downloaded Coursera videos between Mansfield and Sharon.
posted by grubby at 1:41 PM on October 10, 2014

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