An Update of Thalys On-Board Wi-Fi Performance

One of the first train companies to introduce Internet access over Wi-Fi on board its high speed trains was Thalys, connecting Paris with Brussels, Cologne, Amsterdam and a couple of cities in between. When I first tried it back in 2009, performance was great, almost unbelievable. A year later in 2010, however, the offer was significantly downstripped, actually to the point of being of little use. When I complained at the time by email the response after many weeks was that it was a temporary problem and actually there is not much Thalys could do since it is managed by another company. Yes, yes, it's always the others that are at fault. No date was given when the service would improve again.

But Thalys keeps advertising the service, so now in 2011 I gave it a try again and found that the service has still not improved. Most of the time during the trip, the connection was so slow that web surfing was practically impossible. A few times, speeds increased to a usable level but only for a minute or two before the connection slowed to a crawl again.The only good use I could find was to send and receive short emails where it doesn't really matter how long it takes. What a shame because my initial experience shows that this is not a technical problem as things can work if enough bandwidth is provided via the satellite link. So Thalys, either fix your offer or stop your advertising that creates expectations your service can't meet…

Sincerely, a disillusioned customer