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Many rail passengers do not feel the quality of on-board internet services is up to scratch, a new poll has revealed.

According to research commissioned by the Department for Transport (DfT), 49 per cent are not satisfied with the internet speeds during a train journey, with respondents saying they are either too slow or unusable.

Meanwhile, 54 per cent of those polled said the quality of their connection when travelling by rail is either poor or intermittent.

Nearly two-thirds of respondents had either used the internet prior to being interviewed, or expect to do so before the end of their trip.

Interestingly, this was a higher proportion than the amount who had made phone calls while travelling by rail.

Some 79 per cent of those who use the internet got online via 3G or 4G, with most favouring smartphones ahead of laptops and tablets.

Checking emails and accessing social media were the most common activities, along with general browsing of the internet.

Figures from the DfT also showed that web usage among rail passengers is most common among business travellers and commuters.

"There is a range of evidence demonstrating an increasing use of ICTs in the course of travelling on public transport, especially travelling by rail," the DfT observed

"Mobile connectivity and the ability to connect by Wi-Fi has become more of an expectation of travel, especially when conducting work on many routes in the UK and internationally."

The government department added that the quality of Wi-Fi and mobile connectivity is important if they are to be used and offer genuine value to business travellers and commuters.

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