2014-02-14 / Front Page

New internet delayed for barracks personnel

By Sgt. 1st Class Kelly Jo Bridgwater
Fort Gordon Public Affairs Office

Soldiers living in the barracks will soon have a new in-room Internet service provider thanks to a recently awarded contract with Boingo, who is preparing for service implementation while the garrison command team continues to work with the Exchange on service transition from outgoing vendor American Warrior Networks.

Maj. Gen. Joseph S. Ward, Air Force deputy director of the Army and Air Force Exchange Service, in a released statement, explains the reason for the transition.

“The Exchange has contracted to provide your Soldiers with access to in-room internet service for many years,” he said. “A new contract was recently awarded to the new provider Boingo, who is actively engaged in preparing for service implementation. Your garrison team has been working with the Exchange on service transition from the outgoing vendor, American Warrior Networks, to Boingo.”

The downside to the transition in service provider is there will be a lapse in service.

“American Warrior Networks internet and TV services at Fort Gordon will be discontinued, effective Feb. 20,” said Ward. “In early June, Boingo will be the new provider at locations previously serviced by AWN. In the meantime, Soldiers can contact Wide Open West at 706-922-3113 to check the availability of interim internet services.”

Ward added, “Unfortunately, the new service will not be available when the AWN current service expires on Feb. 20. Soldiers may elect to secure internet services from local cable or telecom providers currently operating in barracks locations as an interim solution. I apologize for this inconvenience. We’re confident the service upgrade will achieve optimal benefits for the Soldier in the long term.”

A Feb. 10 news release from the Army & Air Force Exchange Service shared what Boingo will bring to the table for service members.

Once service is up and running, Boingo will offer high-speed Wi-Fi, IP-based wireless HDTV, enhanced video capability and access to more than one million hotspots around the world.

Boingo will also bring competitive pricing and flexible plans (hourly, daily, weekly and monthly) to Fort Gordon. Additionally, no contracts, hidden fees or cancellation charges are applied and no installation or special equipment is required.

The statement from Ward further explained the plan in place to install the new internet service as soon as possible.

“ In order to transition soonest, Boingo has deployed considerable resources and equipment to install new service as quickly as possible,” Ward said. “I ask for your support and that of key installation contacts to expedite transition. We will provide customers information regarding service alternatives and do all we can to minimize the impact.”

“While we are disappointed that we were not able to achieve a seamless transition, we are very excited with the long term benefits Boingo will bring to the Soldiers,” said Ward. “This relationship brings the next generation of technology to our valued military family.” Ward described the benefits of the new service:

1. Improved performance though wireless internet plans up to 30Mb download (20Mb upload- 10x the upload offered elsewhere)

2. One seamless wireless broadband network for High-Speed internet, IPTV, and VoIP capability

3. Portability within and between installations within CONUS – using the same account

4. Monthly savings over cable providers and current provider with no additional fees and no cancellation or connection charges

5. Access to over 1 Million Boingo Hotspots around the world

6 . HDTV Channel lineup tailored to military customers

7. Support for any Wi-Fi device; with cloud-based DVR included

8 . No installation required; instant access via Splash screen

9. Deployment through new Boingo-provided wireless infrastructure; No need to trench, bury cable, or depend on existing or older installation infrastructure

“Our next step will be in working project details with installation personnel in conference calls,” said Ward. “Exchange telecom employees and Boingo representatives will be in touch with select garrison support personnel already engaged.”

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