June 12, 2004
Wi-Fi on the highway

Everywhere I look, there's another Wi-Fi installation popping up. Via Aziz, I see that the next frontier is highway rest stops.

Texas is the first state in the nation to provide free wireless Internet access at its safety rest areas, the Texas Department of Transportation announced today.

TxDOT began experimenting with wireless Internet service last fall, when the department provided the capability at twin rest areas on U.S. 287 in Donley County. Free wireless service also is available at two rest areas on the same highway in Hardeman County.

“The feedback we’ve received so far has been very positive,” said Andy Keith, Safety Rest Area Program Manager for TxDOT’s Maintenance Division. “Texas’ highways are seeing an increasing number of business travelers, truckers and RVers and access to email is important to them. They have really responded favorably to our four ‘hot spots’ on U.S. 287.”

TxDOT has taken the first step to expand the service to all of its 84 safety rest areas and 12 Travel Information Centers by issuing a request for offer seeking vendors able to provide free wireless Internet service and pay telephone-like Internet access at kiosks.

Keith said he envisions computers in the kiosks being available in 15 minute increments by swiping a credit card through a reader. But wireless access will be free for anyone with their own equipment.

We've been talking about getting a wireless-enabled laptop so Tiffany can do some work downstairs while she's home with the baby. Looks like the fringe benefits for doing so are piling up. Sweet!

Posted by Charles Kuffner on June 12, 2004 to The great state of Texas | TrackBack

You know, laptops with wifi are ridiculously cheap now. Highly recommended! you can get outfitted for around $700 if you don't mind some heft (my sister just bought a Dell for that amount - wifi is really quite liberating :)

Posted by: Aziz on June 12, 2004 11:10 AM