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Commuters in Ireland could be set to gain access to wireless broadband on trains in the republic after a free Wi-Fi trial was launched on Dublin to Cork Intercity services.

Rail provider Iarnrod Eireann is assessing the uptake of web services among passengers, with trial partner Fleet Connect standing by to offer access at a variety of price points.

A recent assessment of Wi-Fi's potential on the route found strong coverage levels across the Dublin-Cork line - raising hopes that broadband services could become a permanent fixture.

Iarnrod Eireann said it was looking forward to "an exciting initiative" over the next six months, and to assessing the impact of Wi-Fi on the travel experience.

"We are hoping the option to avail of on-train internet connectivity for all customers - from those checking social networking sites and email to business customers - will prove popular, and lead to a full introduction of Wi-Fi services," a company spokesperson claimed.

Earlier this year, Pennine Telecom provided free wireless broadband services to around 1,000 under-privileged schoolchildren in the Manchester area, reports ZD Net.

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