Military Connection: New On-Base Wi-Fi Program: By Debbie Gregory

wifiGreat news for Soldiers, Marines and Airmen! An improved Wi-Fi service could be heading to an installation near you.

The Army and Air Force Exchange Service and the Marine Corps Non-Appropriated Fund Business and Support Services Division are closing in on a deal that would feature a new service plan to thirty installations through Boingo Wireless.

Under the new plan, service members living on base in barracks and in dormitories will be given free in-room access to an all wireless basic internet plan, with a data transfer speed of 128 kilobits per second, as well as internet based television with local channels.

Service members will also be given the option to pay for upgrades, including faster internet speeds and more television channels. There will be multiple options and prices offered through the new deal, including internet-only upgrades, and packages with combined television and internet upgrades. The largest package includes an expanded Internet with up to 30 Mbps, packaged with 100-plus channels for $89.95 a month. A five MB per-second service will be offered for $29.95 per month. Pricing will be standardized from base to base, wherever it is provided.

Along with being considerably lower priced for comparative services, the services will not require long-term contracts. The upgrade programs will all be offered on a month to month basis, which is ideal for service members on the go.

And one more bonus is that service plans will be  transferable to any installation that offers the service. So service members going TDY, attending a training or being permanently reassigned can take their plans with them, making for a seamless transition.

The service is now available through Boingo Wireless at Camp Pendleton, CA, Marine Corps Air Station Yuma, AZ, Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort, S.C., Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms, CA, Fort Eustis, VA, and Barksdale Air Force Base, LA.

Most Marine Corps installations will have the Boingo Wireless service implemented by 2015. The Army and Air Force expect to expand the service to eleven additional installations by October 1, 2014, and to most of the remaining installations by the end of next summer.

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Military Connection: New On-Base Wi-Fi Program: By Debbie Gregory