If you live in or travel to the US, Canada, European countries outside the European Union, or Central Asia, you may be suffering from the subterranean wireless blues.
A survey from the New Cities Foundation in Geneva finds that these regions don't pass muster when it comes to Internet access on their subway systems compared to subterranean mass transit in Asia, the Middle East, Latin America and the European Union.
The nonprofit foundation conducted its survey in October in 121 global cities with populations of more than 750,00 people, and found the following availability of Internet service on subway systems by region:
- Asia (84.4%), including 100% in China and South Korea;
- US and Canada (41.2%), and
- Europe (outside the EU) and Central Asia (25%).
So, in other words, keep creating those iPad apps that work offline if you want to attract tourists navigating subway systems in the US, Canada, Eastern Europe and Central Asia. Transit systems in these regions aren't too-connected when measured against the rest of the metropolitan world.
"This study helps paint a new map of the world, where technological divides are not what you think," says Mathieu Lefevre, NCF's executive director. "For instance, it says a lot that Asian commuters can check their email and read the news in more than 80% of the region's subway systems, compared to just half in North America."
Here's an NCF infographic on the survey: