Queensland Rail Bans Games And Gaming Websites From Its Wi-Fi Service

Queensland Rail Bans Games And Gaming Websites From Its Wi-Fi Service

Queensland Rail is currently trialing a system that allows users to access Wi-Fi on its trains, but it looks as though sites featuring games or game content are actively being blocked.

‘Games’ are currently being classified alongside ‘Criminal Activity’, ‘Hacking’, ‘Intolerance and hate’, ‘Personals and Dating’ and multiple others as content that cannot be viewed using Queensland Rail’s Wi-Fi service.

Speaking to a Queensland Rail representative, banning games is all part of an attempt to keep any content viewed on Wi-Fi “g-rated”.

“With content we have to make sure everything is g-rated,” explained the representative, “even websites like Facebook and Youtube can’t be viewed. Anything that we feel has a lot of unregulated content has to be removed.”

Queensland Rail Bans Games And Gaming Websites From Its Wi-Fi Service

If this is the case, we asked how it was possible for Queensland Rail to allow any sites to be viewable using its Wi-Fi service. Almost every website on the planet features some amount of unregulated content.

“Information sites are allowed,” explained the spokesperson. “You can search with Google, and Wikipedia is okay, that’s some of the sites I’ve used.

Apparently games are no exception; Queensland Rail is actively blocking a number of sites. Most news sites for example, even reputable sites such as CNN can’t be viewed using its Wi-Fi.

There are currently no plans to remove these blocks.


    • Indeed. They’ve just wasted their tax payers money if half the internet is blocked. Oh great, you can access Google – are they aware that Google doesn’t actually provide content and is a search engine?

      • Yeah, and the fact it’s only a 20mb limited per 24 hours I think? is also pretty pitiful. I probably use more than that in the first 15 minutes of sitting down at my PC just browsing Kotaku, Gizmodo & Life Hacker..

    • I’ve never seemed to be able to get it to work anyway, it always immediatly tells me I’ve used all my data up.

  • Halp. I just put my fist clean through my forehead.

    The list of stuff that is actually viewable must be quite small.


    QLD is in the 80s again people. Anyone who voted for that little dictator shithead running QLD right now is getting EXACTLY what they deserve. A trip back to the 1980s care of the least progressive government in history.

    • Not defending Newman, but, these guidelines were in place with labour in charge too.

      Its all because they didn’t want grandma seeing the kids on way home from school using their smart phones to view porn and play violent games on the trains.

      I don’t agree with a total ban on unregulated content…. but some form of filter needs to be in place for that.

      • But couldn’t they just view that stuff with 3G anyway? Adding a free service that blocks those things is only going to make people not use that service.

        • Or just store the content on their phones and play/watch it on the train without needing any internet at all, wifi or otherwise.

      • Queensland was backwards and redneck even when labor was in power with both peter beatie and anna bligh. the only difference is that you never noticed it until you left brisbane city and sufers paradise.

    • Really can’t go anywhere today without people forcing politics down my throat.

      I might be wrong, but I’m pretty sure Queensland Rail is privatised, this is a move made by a private company, not by the government

      • Queensland Rail National (the freighting side) was privatised. As far as I’m aware, the version of QR that commuters use is still run by the State Government.

        That being said, this is not a new policy. The wifi has been in place for a while now, with the first test train with it being out and about at least a year ago. The policy hasn’t changed since then and I doubt is reflective of the State Government but more the public servants running QR.

        It’s just a bad service.

  • I can’t even see why they’d bother havin wi-fi if they’re going to place so many restrictions on it. All the things I can imagine people using wi-fi for while on the train, playing games, checking facebook, reading the news, watching some youtube videos, are blocked. Are they expecting people to spend their whole trip browsing wikipedia?

    • “Are they expecting people to spend their whole trip browsing wikipedia?”

      Actually that’s a great idea, some of the people i see catching the trains these days could really do with spending some of their time actually learning something instead of being an annoying waste of space.

      I heard a young chick the other day (maybe 15) talking about how having a boyfriend is more important than going to school since she plans on getting pregnant early anyway so she can be looked after instead of having to work.

  • I wonder if gaming-related apps would still work or if they’d be blocked too. What if I wanted to check my Xbox Live Friendslist or Raptr?

    Granted, I don’t use the wi-fi here in Sydney – on the few occasions I have detected a wi-fi hotspot on a train or station, it’s so laughably slow that it’s not worth it.

  • I assume news websites would fall under “information sites”. I can’t really fault them for it. I mean, yeah, gaming stuff is awesome and what I would use it for, but I can understand that they don’t want it getting clogged up with social media nonsense or for others to be using their wi-fi to look up content that may be inappropriate to other commuters (i.e. what people use their own personal connections/plans for is their business, but not when it’s provided by the Rail).

    • From the article: “Most news sites for example, even reputable sites such as CNN can’t be viewed using its Wi-Fi.”

      Wonder if they have blocked their own website.

  • I’m glad that I:

    a) Don’t live in QLD.
    b) Aren’t desperate enough to scab off the restricted free wifi. Mobile data FTMFW.


  • That doesn’t leave much for people to view, people sitting on public transport are going to be either wanting to read the news, be on facebook or twitter, or playing games. No one thought this through did they.

  • Tried to look up movie times once – blocked.
    Tried to access blackboard for uni, as I had an exam that day and wanted to be double sure – whole uni site blocked.

    The wifi is so you can access journey planner, and nothing else. Kind of useless. I don’t see why they’re any more responsible for what people do online than the ISP is. It’s just so. very. stupid.

    Probably upset about the whole meme thing I guess..

    • As much as I’m a) from WA, so this doesn’t concern me, and b) in complete agreeance (yes, Google Chrome.. ‘agreeance’ IS a word) that this is just stupidity, they do have a responsibility.

      ISPs I don’t believe should be able to filter what you can and cannot view – you pay for the service, you use it solely within your residence, and you should be allowed to decide what is appropriate for your eyes (exceptions here and there).

      However, QR have an obligation to make these restrictions – as does any workplace – to ensure that these services are used appropriately. They’re offering the service, and they are offering the service on their own transport. It is in their best interest to keep sensitive content from being displayed via their own service.

      In saying that, I think they should follow McDonalds’ lead and just post a big disclaimer from the beginning, saying that they’re not responsible for any content viewed through their service.

  • Wonder if it blocks Fairfax (SMH) as well, Because its the only media org keeping campbell in check somewhat. Im guessing it does because NEWS LIMITED

  • Maybe they only wanted to fork out for a 1gb plan, so they blocked everything so people don’t actually use it. LOL

  • The wifi is useless as 20mb going in a few mins if you check your email and it doesn’t refresh for 24hrs to it you have a hr long trip to work and a hr trip home use can use wifi for less than 5 mins from 2 hours its a complete joke should be a minimum of 200mb

    • 20mb is completely reasonable.
      I use my own 3g data while on public transport, and I barely break 150mb a month, including all my other usage.

      BTW, 20mb * 21.8 average work days per month = 436mb per person per month (assuming they bus it on every week day). If 200,000 (that’s 1/25th of the population of queensland, a very conservative estimate) people do this, that’s 87.2 terrabytes per month.

      If you increased it to 200mb, it’d be approaching 1 petabyte per month. That’s a bit excessive.

      • I thought in these sorts of networks, if one person has already downloaded/viewed something, additional people on the same network viewing those pages aren’t redownloading the same data.

        • Those systems rarely work well. If they send any sort of account detail with the request, and most sites do, then it counts as a unique request and is redownloaded. Some images may be cached once only, but for the most part new user = new download.

      • Because you are the bar by which all other internet users should be measured… right?
        Reasonable or not, your logic is flawed.
        I use about 500-750mb of mobile data a month on my phone, my partner uses about 25, if that, and some friends use at least 1 gig, usually more (they spend a lot of time away from home/in transit).

        • And all of that is from text+images on websites?
          OR does that include app downloads, gaming, music streaming, video streaming, etc?

          BTW, 500mb a month = 16.6mb per day, so don’t worry, you still fall within the cap.

  • Hang about, Google? Switch of safe filter and surf porn. Nice one QLD Rail. They should Wiki *waste of money*

  • What’s specifically “not g-rated” in Personals and Dating, Chat, and Translators? And what do Translators have to do with Proxies? What is the point of someone using P2P with 20mb cap?

    • Translate a page to another language then translate it back again is essentially a proxy bypass, used extensively in asian countries =/

  • Gaming itself.. I could understand from a bandwidth point of view..

    However if you’re banning things based on g-rating.. then you have to ban a lot of websites.. including facebook and many of the news websites too.

    • But kids under the age of 8 might be exposed to M content on the iPad of the 40 year old sitting next to them. It’s a safeguard so that if someone decided to find a way stream porn, they’ve violated the terms of service and QLD rail aren’t responsible for the lawsuit of the panicking mother

  • As a long time user of QR’s services, this does not surprise me. Everything they do seems to be in order to frustrate and make life difficult for their passengers. It’s a shame really, with all the delays they have, this would have helped people pass the time.

  • So are they going to start censoring what books people are allowed to read on the train as well? I reckon half the female population on the bus I take to work each morning would have been banned from public transport by now for reading 50 Shades Of Grey.

  • As someone who makes use of QLD rail every day I can say use of the wifi is not much use on any website when you are given a 20mb limit. You chew through that fast! I’ll have to have a go this afternoon and see how the filter goes. I mainly use said interwebs for catchup on email/facebook etc before going home so I’ll live. Got to love my work filter letting visit kotaku!!

  • Ok i need to know. Do they block Twitter? Because they use twitter for service updates, so you know that would be stupid.

    • It would be stupid if you had to go on Twitter to work out what your trains doing you mean? Don’t they normally tell you all that over the loudspeaker? Connecting services too? They do in Victoria.

  • It’s hardly worth the bother anyway. It’s not on every train, so you can’t plan to have it.
    Before use, you first have to agree to terms of use through a QR web site which is supposed to pop up – but doesn’t work with Firefox.
    Speeds are often very very slow. So much so I usually give up and go back to playing Angry Birds.
    Money would be better spent on reducing overhead line faults and fixing the routine track flooding in the CBD. Not looking forward to the summer storm season.

  • g-rated? So what are these little kids going to be doing on their train trip. Research for a school project?

  • Just use your phone’s plan or cap(prepaid monthly) data usage. You won’t be restricted by what content you can view then, and you can go over 20 MB’s.

  • Funnily enough I have never had issues accessing sites like Kotaku, Gizmodo, Facebook and a plethora of news via android apps. Even jumped on tumblr once when the train was pretty empty, purely for research purposes of course.

  • What annoys me more is that this brings to a grand total of TWO, the number of places I know of with free wi-fi. QR trains and McDonalds! Oh wait three because the kid’s indoor playground also has wi-fi.

    More people should offer this service because I, for one, do not feel like giving the phone companies one red cent that I do not have to.

    As for QR – last time I rode a train I couldn’t get the damn thing to work so AFAIK the whole damn internet is blocked!

  • I’ve used the free WiFi on China’s rail & subway systems to view a broader range of content than Queensland Rail will allow.

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