Truck Stops are Becoming Wi-Fi Hot Spots
The Flying J Travel Plaza is offering truck drivers Wi-Fi wireless Internet access in the travel plaza's parking lot, according to an article in the Washington Post newspaper. With a wireless network card, a laptop and a password, truckers can access the Web, use e-mail, and file paperwork — without ever having to leave their trucks. Internet access also allows drivers to check diesel prices as they plan their cross-country trips, allowing them to plan routes to avoid the more expensive pumps.
Using the same technology found in cordless phones, wireless fidelity, or Wi-Fi, is quickly catching on at truck stops. The 3.5 million truck drivers on the road who a generation ago made citizens' band radios popular are again on the cutting edge.
"Truckers have always been a quiet leader in anything having to do with wireless communication," said Allan Meiusi, vice president of Truckstop.net, which provides the Internet access. "Everyone's so hot about GPS (global positioning systems) now, but truckers started getting into that 14 years ago. They were also the first ones to grab on to cell phones." For the past two months, Truckstop.net has been advertising at truck stops across the country, and more than 10,000 subscribers have signed up since service began in October.
Hundreds of Truckstop.net hot spots are already in place at truck stops and travel plazas across the country and Canada. Thousands more are in the works. The company hopes to open 3,000 locations in the next two years. With rates as low as $16.66 a month, drivers loyal to the Flying J can find Wi-Fi technology from St. Lucie, Fla., to Post Falls, Idaho. There are 148 Flying J hot spots, with more to come.