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CalMac has agreed to commission an independent assessment of the wifi availability onboard Hebridean crossings.
Na h-Eileanan an Iar MSP Alasdair Allan has welcomed the news, as he has in the past called on CalMac to improve its onboard wifi for passengers.
Mr Allan wrote to CalMac to outline concerns around the wifi availability and quality on board Hebridean services both at sea and in ports, following recent complaints.
In response, CalMac has said an independent assessment of the service has been commissioned to allow it to understand why there may be issues and how best to address them.
Dr Allan said: ‘I am pleased that CalMac has commissioned an independent assessment of its wifi service.
‘In the 21st century, where wifi is a common feature on trains and buses, ferry passengers have every right to expect a similar basic service and I am glad that CalMac has admitted that it initially underestimated the scale of the challenge.
‘I welcome CalMac’s commitment to have a full and proper analysis of what needs done, not only to manage public expectations, but to establish what is required to improve the onboard service.
‘I first remember being lobbied on this issue by pupils at Castlebay School, when I joined Keith Brown MSP, then the transport minister, to hear the case for wifi on the Oban ferry. Years after the commitment from CalMac, the service is still often unusable to most.
‘I look forward to hearing of the outcome of the independent assessment and hope that it will lead to an improved service.’